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still waters run deep

still waters run deep in Culture

Still waters run deep definition


A person's calm exterior often conceals great depths of character, just as the deepest streams can have the smoothest surfaces.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Examples from the Web for still waters run deep
Historical Examples
  • "still waters run deep," they said, and all those to whom they said it nodded in a wise acquiescence.

    First and Last H. Belloc
  • But still waters run deep; and the proverb applies with peculiar truth to the poetry of Racine.

    Landmarks in French Literature G. Lytton Strachey
  • How telling, again, the picture and the lesson in "still waters run deep."

    Proverb Lore F. Edward Hulme
  • Mr. Tamworth is seemingly very sedate, but still waters run deep.

    Wanted: A Cook Alan Dale
  • But the world can never rid itself of the notion that only still waters run deep.

    A Safety Match Ian Hay
  • still waters run deep, and Richards was astute, though perhaps he did not look it.

  • Yes, and there is another old proverb and one much more to the purpose that says, “still waters run deep.”

    Dramatic Technique George Pierce Baker
  • We sometimes hear it said of a person who is very quiet and does not speak much that "still waters run deep."

    Stories That Words Tell Us Elizabeth O'Neill
  • She is one of those characters, of whom it has been said proverbially, that "still waters run deep."

  • still waters run deep, say the English, and the Italians, Still waters ruin bridges.

    Cosmopolis, Complete Paul Bourget
Idioms and Phrases with still waters run deep

still waters run deep

A quiet person may be very profound, as in Susie rarely says much, but still waters run deep. The physical observation in this term dates from ancient times, but it has been used figuratively since about 1400. Anthony Trollope amplified it in He Knew He Was Right (1869): “That's what I call still water. She runs deep enough. . . . So quiet, but so—clever.”
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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