Measuring little from bottom to top or surface; lacking physical depth. Lacking depth of intellect, emotion, or knowledge: "This is a shallow parody of America\u201d ( Lloyd Rose). Marked by insufficient inhalation of air; weak: shallow respirations. In the part of a playing area that is closer to home plate: shallow left field. A part of a body of water of little depth; a shoal. Often used in the plural: abandoned the boat in the shallows. To make or become shallow.