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1. a. Of a person: characterized by intellectual depth; having great insight into or knowledge of something; very learned. Formerly also: crafty, cunning (cf. DEEP adj. 17) (obs.).
b. Of personal attributes, actions, works, etc.: showing depth of insight or knowledge; marked by great learning.
2. a. Of a field of knowledge, intellectual topic, etc.: demanding deep study, research, or consideration; containing great depths of meaning and import; (of meaning or significance) deep, important.
b. Of a state, quality, or emotion: having great depth or intensity; intense, extreme, thorough.
c. Of reverence, respect, etc.: sincere; humble.

Formerly sometimes with reference to the idea of bowing low (cf. sense A. 3d).

d. Of sleep, silence, etc.: in which a person is or may be deeply immersed; unbroken, complete.
  • II. Of physical depth.
3. a. That has great downward or inward extent; very deep.
b. Of a sigh, sob, etc.: originating in or coming from a great depth; made with a deep breath (chiefly with the implication of deeply-felt emotion: cf. sense A. 2b).
c. Situated far beneath a surface (esp. that of the body); deep-seated; deeply-buried. Also fig. and in figurative contexts.
d. Of a bow, etc.: sinking to a great depth; very low (chiefly with the implication of deep respect: cf. sense A. 2c).


  • 1. Chiefly poet. The deepest or innermost part of something; a very deep place; an abyss; spec. the depths of the sea (cf. DEEP n. 3a). Also fig. Now rare.
  • 2. Intellectual depth. Obs. rare 1.

See Also

Inner Life