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slough

Definitions

  • A Tupelo Gum Slough
    A Tupelo Gum Slough
  • WordNet 3.6
    • v slough cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers "our dog sheds every Spring"
    • n slough any outer covering that can be shed or cast off (such as the cast-off skin of a snake)
    • n slough a stagnant swamp (especially as part of a bayou)
    • n slough a hollow filled with mud
    • n slough necrotic tissue; a mortified or gangrenous part or mass
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

A Cypress Slough in the Dry Season A Cypress Slough in the Dry Season

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The combination "ough" can be pronounced in 9 different ways; Read this: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
    • Slough imp. of Slee, to slay. Slew.
    • Slough A place of deep mud or mire; a hole full of mire. "He's here stuck in a slough ."
    • Slough A wet place; a swale; a side channel or inlet from a river.
    • a Slough Slow.
    • Slough (Med) The dead mass separating from a foul sore; the dead part which separates from the living tissue in mortification.
    • Slough The skin, commonly the cast-off skin, of a serpent or of some similar animal.
    • v. t Slough To cast off; to discard as refuse. "New tint the plumage of the birds,
      And slough decay from grazing herds."
    • v. i Slough (Med) To form a slough; to separate in the form of dead matter from the living tissues; -- often used with off, or away; as, a sloughing ulcer; the dead tissues slough off slowly.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: The combination "ough" can be pronounced in nine different ways. The following sentence contains them all: "A rough-coated, dough-faced, thoughtful ploughman strode through the streets of Scarborough; after falling into a slough, he coughed and hiccoughed."
    • n slough A hole full of deep mud or mire; a quagmire of considerable depth and comparatively small extent of surface.
    • n slough (slö), A marshy hollow; a reedy pond; also, a long shallow ravine, or open creek, which becomes partly or wholly dry in summer.
    • n slough Synonyms Swamp, etc. See marsh.
    • n slough The skin of a serpent, usually the cast skin; also, any part of an animal that is naturally shed or molted; a cast; an exuvium.
    • n slough In pathology, a dead part of tissue which separates from the surrounding living tissue, and is cast off in the act of sloughing.
    • n slough A husk.
    • slough To come off as a slough: often with off. To be shed, cast, molted, or exuviated, as the skin of a snake.
    • slough To cast off a slough.
    • slough To cast off as a slough; in pathology, to throw off, as a dead mass from an ulcer or a wound.
    • slough A Middle English variant of slow.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Slough slow a hollow filled with mud: a soft bog or marsh
    • n Slough sluf the cast-off skin of a serpent: the dead part which separates from a sore
    • v.i Slough to come away as a slough (with off): to be in the state of sloughing
    • v.t Slough to cast off, as a slough
    • ***

Idioms

Slough of despond - If someone is very depressed or in despair, they're in a slough of despond.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. slogh, slough, AS. slōh, a hollow place; cf. MHG. slūch, an abyss, gullet, G. schlucken, to swallow; also Gael. & Ir. sloc, a pit, pool. ditch, Ir. slug, to swallow. Gr. to hiccough, to sob

Usage

In literature:

The lungs slough away.
"The Courage of Marge O'Doone" by James Oliver Curwood
I had been striving for years to slough off from my tongue a thick Irish brogue, and had not succeeded very well.
"From the Bottom Up" by Alexander Irvine
Where it approaches the surface the skin becomes soft and thin, and eventually sloughs, allowing the pus to escape.
"Manual of Surgery" by Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles
ITS SLOUGH WAS CARRIED TO ROME FOR EXHIBITION PURPOSES.
"Dio's Rome, Volume 1 (of 6)" by Cassius Dio
The request came usually at a time when Yale's football was in the slough of despond.
"Football Days" by William H. Edwards
It was not without difficulty that our cannon were drawn out of the sloughs.
"History of the Expedition to Russia" by Count Philip de Segur
Iced sloughs gave place to swift torrents and cataracts.
"Pathfinders of the West" by A. C. Laut
I struggled desperately against the slough of sin that was slowly creeping over me, but in vain.
"The Argosy" by Various
I've had a touch of chills an' fever ever since I used to run mate up the San Joaquin sloughs.
"Captain Scraggs" by Peter B. Kyne
He sloughs off the first, before he dons the second.
"The Wit and Humor of America, Volume IV. (of X.)" by Various
I've sloughed around in the mud enough for one session.
"Then I'll Come Back to You" by Larry Evans
The desire for exclusive ownership must be sloughed.
"Little Journeys To The Homes Of Great Teachers" by Elbert Hubbard
Everything seemed very quiet, and the only disturbance came from some wild birds on a slough nearby.
"Into the Jaws of Death" by Jack O'Brien
Coats of stomach, fauces, gullet, and duodenum, may be thickened, black, ulcerated, gangrenous, or sloughing.
"Aids to Forensic Medicine and Toxicology" by W. G. Aitchison Robertson
Raising himself out of the slough of despond, he resolutely re-fed his soul with hope.
"The Way of the Wind" by Zoe Anderson Norris
Thereupon, Dick Tresilyan slid into a slough of despond, in which he had been wallowing ever since.
"Sword and Gown" by George A. Lawrence
I think if that could be done he would come out of the slough of despond and be worth something.
"Frank Merriwell's Reward" by Burt L. Standish
He didn't know how much would stand when the sloughing ended.
"Prairie Folks" by Hamlin Garland
Mosquitoes tormented them, and sometimes they had to lose a day when the ground was turned into slough by the rain.
"From Pole to Pole" by Sven Anders Hedin
He didn't know how much would stand when the sloughing ended.
"Other Main-Travelled Roads" by Hamlin Garland
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In poetry:

In the flowing pastures,
Where the cattle feed,
Such a hidden love-storm,
Dying into seed —
Blue grass, slough grass,
Wild flower, weed!
"The Weavers" by John Gneisenau Neihardt
But when the sky is clear again,
He sloughs his grief, forgets his pain,
Hearing on gusts of charming weather
The low laugh of his arrow feather!
"The Archer" by Maurice Thompson
Full many a winding thou may'st count,
Or be in sloughs and deserts lost,
E'er unto heaven thou canst mount,
Without God's word, they can't be cross'd.
"Advice To Hear, And To Read, The Word Of God" by Rees Prichard
Many years since, Bob Hayward died, and now
None passes there because the mist and the rain
Out of the elms have turned the lane to slough
And gloom, the name alone survives, Bob's Lane.
"Bob's Lane" by Edward Thomas
Those old Martyrs sloughed their pride,
Taking humbleness like mirth.
I am to His Glory tied,
I that witness Him on earth!
Red of heat, my pride of dust,
White of heat, feeds fire in trust.
"The Song Of Theodolinda" by George Meredith
Ere yet the race is lost, ere ev'ning late,
Ere the tree's fell'd, ere in the slough thou'rt fast,
Ere to the hill thou'st fled, or shut's the gate,
Ere the trump sounds, and ere thy doom is past —
"A Memento Mori -- Or Remember Death" by Rees Prichard

In news:

Assembly mulls Seldovia slough, streams ordinance.
School Board's Slough to run for Congress.
Fall Programs at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.
Immerse yourself in nature this fall at the Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve.
Slough Feg's Mike Scalzi talks metal, philosophy.
Slough Feg (Mike Scalzi, third from left.
The public is being invited to submit their best pictures to the second annual Friends of Six Mile Cypress Slough Preserve photography contest.
Work to replace SR 529 Ebey Slough Bridge begins in Marysville.
Maple Slough ditch cleanout bid awarded.
Elkhorn Slough 's Troubled Waters.
Prosser Slough Click to enlarge.
Britt Blake Alive with the sounds of songbirds, woodpeckers and insects, a scenic slough on this Forever Wild Coon Creek hike offers opportunities for spotting wildlife.
The capital city, long a tourist spot, sloughs off its Soviet era.
In spite of the soggy weather activity is picking up at the Ebey Slough Boat Launch.
Natural area preserved along Columbia Slough.
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