- the outer layer of the skin of a snake, which is cast off periodically.
- Pathology. a mass or layer of dead tissue separated from the surrounding or underlying tissue.
- anything that is shed or cast off.
- Cards. a discard.
- to be or become shed or cast off, as the slough of a snake.
- to cast off a slough.
- Pathology. to separate from the sound flesh, as a slough.
- Cards. to discard a card or cards.
- to dispose or get rid of; cast (often followed by off): to slough off a bad habit.
- to shed as or like a slough.
- Cards. to discard (cards).
- slough over, to treat as slight or trivial: to slough over a friend's mistake.
Origin of slough2
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Related Wordsplunge, crash, collapse, tumble, dive, subside, settle, cascade, slide, plummet, swoop, slip, penetrate, disembark, trickle, dip, stumble, sink, decline, expel
- (tr, adverb) to cast off (cares, etc)
- 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)
- a hollow filled with mud; bog
- (sluː) US and Canadian
- (in the prairies) a large hole where water collects or the water in such a hole
- (in the northwest) a sluggish side channel of a river
- (on the Pacific coast) a marshy saltwater inlet
- despair or degradation
- 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
- (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)
Word Origin and History for slough off
"muddy place," Old English sloh "soft, muddy ground," of uncertain origin. Cf. Middle Low German sloch "muddy place," Middle High German sluoche "ditch." Figurative use (e.g. of moral sunkenness or Bunyan's "Slough of Despond," 1678) attested from mid-13c.
"to cast off" (as the skin of a snake or other animal), 1720, originally of diseased tissue, from Middle English noun slough "shed skin of a snake" (see slough (n.)). Related: Sloughed; sloughing.
"cast-off skin" (of a snake or other animal), early 14c., slughe, slouh, probably related to Old Saxon sluk "skin of a snake," Middle High German sluch "snakeskin, wineskin," Middle Low German slu "husk, peel, skin," German Schlauch "wineskin;" from Proto-Germanic *sluk-, of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE root *sleug- "to glide."
- A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, a sore, or an inflammation.
- To separate from surrounding living tissue. Used of dead tissue.
- The dead outer skin shed by a reptile or an amphibian.
- To shed an outer layer of skin.