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trough

[trawf, trof or, sometimes, trawth, troth]
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noun
  1. a long, narrow, open receptacle, usually boxlike in shape, used chiefly to hold water or food for animals.
  2. any of several similarly shaped receptacles used for various commercial or household purposes.
  3. a channel or conduit for conveying water, as a gutter under the eaves of a building for carrying away rain water.
  4. any long depression or hollow, as between two ridges or waves.
  5. Oceanography. a long, wide, and deep depression in the ocean floor having gently sloping sides, wider and shallower than a trench.Compare trench(def 4).
  6. Meteorology. an elongated area of relatively low pressure.
  7. the lowest point, especially in an economic cycle.
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Origin of trough

before 900; Middle English; Old English trōh; cognate with Dutch, German, Old Norse trog
Related formstrough·like, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for trough

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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

trough

noun
  1. a narrow open container, esp one in which food or water for animals is put
  2. a narrow channel, gutter, or gulley
  3. a narrow depression either in the land surface, ocean bed, or between two successive waves
  4. meteorol an elongated area of low pressure, esp an extension of a depressionCompare ridge (def. 6)
  5. a single or temporary low point; depression
  6. physics the portion of a wave, such as a light wave, in which the amplitude lies below its average value
  7. economics the lowest point or most depressed stage of the trade cycle
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verb
  1. (intr) informal to eat, consume, or take greedily
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Derived Formstroughlike, adjective

Word Origin

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

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

trough in Science

trough

[trôf]
  1. The part of a wave with the least magnitude; the lowest part of a wave. Compare crest. See more at wave.
  2. 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.
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The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.