[trawf, trof or, sometimes, trawth, troth]


Origin of trough

before 900; Middle English; Old English trōh; cognate with Dutch, German, Old Norse trog
Related formstrough·like, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for trough

Contemporary Examples of trough

Historical Examples of trough

  • She see us a-wallowin' in the trough and our mast thrashin' for all it was worth.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • At the next instant, the brig rose on a sea, settled in the trough, and struck.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • Once he got up and walked over to the trough for a drink of water.

    White Fang

    Jack London

  • She did not know how to sit at table, and would only eat out of a trough.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete

    Madame La Marquise De Montespan

  • Harold tumbled out of the trough in the excess of his emotion.

    The Golden Age

    Kenneth Grahame

British Dictionary definitions for trough



a narrow open container, esp one in which food or water for animals is put
a narrow channel, gutter, or gulley
a narrow depression either in the land surface, ocean bed, or between two successive waves
meteorol an elongated area of low pressure, esp an extension of a depressionCompare ridge (def. 6)
a single or temporary low point; depression
physics the portion of a wave, such as a light wave, in which the amplitude lies below its average value
economics the lowest point or most depressed stage of the trade cycle


(intr) informal to eat, consume, or take greedily
Derived Formstroughlike, adjective

Word Origin for trough

Old English trōh; related to Old Saxon, Old Norse trog trough, Dutch trügge ladle
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 trough

Old English trog, from Proto-Germanic *trugoz (cf. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Old Norse trog, Middle Dutch troch, Dutch trog, Old High German troc, German trog), perhaps ultimately from PIE *drukos, from root *dru- "wood, tree" (see tree). Originally pronounced in English with a hard -gh- (as in Scottish loch); pronunciation shifted to -f-, but spelling remained.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trough in Science



The part of a wave with the least magnitude; the lowest part of a wave. Compare crest. See more at wave.
A narrow, elongated region of relatively low atmospheric pressure occurring at the ground surface or in the upper atmosphere, and often associated with a front. Compare ridge.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.