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[dee-puh n] /ˈdi pən/
verb (used with or without object)
to make or become deep or deeper:
Larger ships will be able to navigate the river after the main channel is deepened. The shadows deepened toward late afternoon.
Meteorology. to decrease in atmospheric pressure:
a deepening cyclone.
Origin of deepen
1595-1605; deep + -en1
Related forms
deepener, noun
deepeningly, adverb
overdeepen, verb (used with object)
undeepened, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for deepen
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Solitude we can deepen by a single volition, and by a single volition let in upon it the stir and noise of the world and life.

  • I could hear the fall and trickle of the rain, but it seemed only to deepen the silence.

    Eben Holden Irving Bacheller
  • All along the stream are drawn grey lines of vapour that, in the far recesses of the valley, deepen to a shadowy gloom.

    In the West Country Francis A. Knight
  • The emotions of the heart begin to deepen as the affections cling to this treasure.

    Sanctification J. W. Byers
  • It is often sought to deepen our sense of this tragedy by speculating on what Shelley would have done if he had lived.

    Shelley Sydney Waterlow
British Dictionary definitions for deepen


to make or become deep, deeper, or more intense
Derived Forms
deepener, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for deepen

c.1600, from deep (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Deepened; deepening. The earlier verb had been simply deep, from Old English diepan.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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