1. The condition or quality of being deep.
a. The extent, measurement, or dimension downward, backward, or inward: dove to a depth of 30 feet; shelves with enough depth to store the large boxes.
b. The measurement or sense of distance from an observation point, such as linear perspective in painting.
3. often depths A deep part or place: the ocean depths; in the depths of the forest.
a. The most profound or intense part or stage: the depth of despair; an experience that touched the depths of tragedy.
b. Intensity; force: had not realized the depth of their feelings for one another.
5. The severest or worst part: in the depth of an economic depression.
6. A low point, level, or degree: Production has fallen to new depths.
7. Intellectual complexity or penetration; profundity: a novel of great depth.
8. The range of one's understanding or competence: I am out of my depth when it comes to cooking.
9. Strength held in reserve, especially a supply of skilled or capable replacements: a team with depth at every position.
10. The degree of richness or intensity: depth of color.
11. Lowness in pitch.
12. Complete detail; thoroughness: the depth of her research; an interview conducted in great depth.
[Middle English depthe, from dep, deep; see DEEP.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.
American Heritage Dictionary Products
The American Heritage Dictionary, 5th Edition
The American Heritage Dictionary of Idioms
The American Heritage Roget's Thesaurus
Curious George's Dictionary
The American Heritage Children's Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots
The American Heritage Student Grammar Dictionary
The American Heritage Desk Dictionary + Thesaurus
The American Heritage Science Dictionary
The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
The American Heritage Student Dictionary
The American Heritage Essential Student Thesaurus