I have a question about the meaning of the verb "deepen" and by extension the adjective "deep" in this New York Times article:

Israel has full confidence in our intelligence-sharing relationship with the United States and looks forward to deepening that relationship in the years ahead under President Trump.

Most dictionaries define "deepen" as make something more "deep". So it comes down to the meaning of "deep". I check this dictionary, but I don't know which definition would work. Any suggestions from native speakers?

  • 2
    #12 comes pretty close. Making the relationship fuller, more thorough, more complete. Now, you have to look up those words. Insofar is it borrows here from the language of personal relationships, deepen would imply more complete trust between the parties. Insofar as it draws from the language of spydom, deepen could mean sharing even more information, even the sort that was previously considered too secret to share.
    – TimR
    May 20, 2017 at 14:44
  • 1
    The opposite is 'shallow' which in this kind of context would mean 'superficial'.
    – JavaLatte
    Jan 16, 2018 at 13:35
  • What exactly is your question??
    – Lambie
    Aug 18, 2019 at 18:12

1 Answer 1


In the usage in your example

looks forward to deepening that relationship

deepening has the main meaning of strengthening or solidifying the relationship and possibly creating a grater level of interdependency which may be achieved by additional intelligence sharing either through amount, breadth, or depth.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .