slough

1
[ slou for 1, 2, 4; sloo for 3 ]
/ slaʊ for 1, 2, 4; slu for 3 /

noun

an area of soft, muddy ground; swamp or swamplike region.
a hole full of mire, as in a road.
Also slew, slue. Northern U.S. and Canadian. a marshy or reedy pool, pond, inlet, backwater, or the like.
a condition of degradation, despair, or helplessness.

Nearby words

  1. slotted spoon,
  2. slotter,
  3. slouch,
  4. slouch hat,
  5. slouchy,
  6. slough off,
  7. slovak,
  8. slovakia,
  9. slovakian,
  10. sloven

Origin of slough

1
before 900; Middle English; Old English slōh; cognate with Middle Low German slōch, Middle High German sluoche ditch

Origin of slough

2
1250–1300; Middle English slughe, slouh skin of a snake; cognate with German Schlauch skin, bag

Related formsslough·i·ness, nounslough·y, adjectiveun·sloughed, adjectiveun·slough·ing, adjective

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slough


British Dictionary definitions for slough

slough

1
/ (slaʊ) /

noun

a hollow filled with mud; bog
(sluː) US and Canadian
  1. (in the prairies) a large hole where water collects or the water in such a hole
  2. (in the northwest) a sluggish side channel of a river
  3. (on the Pacific coast) a marshy saltwater inlet
despair or degradation
Derived Formssloughy, adjective

Word Origin for slough

Old English slōh; related to Middle High German sluoche ditch, Swedish slaga swamp

noun

any outer covering that is shed, such as the dead outer layer of the skin of a snake, the cellular debris in a wound, etc
Also: sluff bridge a discarded card

verb

(often foll by off) to shed (a skin, etc) or (of a skin, etc) to be shed
Also: sluff bridge to discard (a card or cards)
Derived Formssloughy, adjective

Word Origin for slough

C13: of Germanic origin; compare Middle Low German slū husk, German Schlauch hose, Norwegian slō fleshy part of a horn

Slough

/ (slaʊ) /

noun

an industrial town in SE central England, in Slough unitary authority, Berkshire; food products, high-tech industries. Pop: 126 276 (2001)
a unitary authority in SE central England, in Berkshire. Pop: 118 800 (2003 est). Area: 28 sq km (11 sq miles)
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

Word Origin and History for slough
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for slough

slough

[ slŭf ]

n.

A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, a sore, or an inflammation.

v.

To separate from surrounding living tissue. Used of dead tissue.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Science definitions for slough

slough

[ slŭf ]

Noun

The dead outer skin shed by a reptile or an amphibian.

Verb

To shed an outer layer of skin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.