- The definition of a slough is the skin of a snake or a layer or covering that has been discarded.
An example of slough is the skin of an onion that's been removed and thrown away.
- Slough is defined as to shed or throw away.
An example of slough is to exfoliate the skin on your body.
- the skin of a snake, esp. the outer layer that is periodically cast off
- any castoff layer, covering, etc.: often used figuratively
- Med. a mass of dead tissue in, or separating from, living tissue or an ulceration
Origin of sloughMiddle English slouh, akin to German schlauch, a skin, bag ; from Indo-European base an unverified form sleu-, to glide, slip from source Latvian sl'užât, to slide
- to be shed, cast off, or discarded; come off
- to drop off; become fewer or less
- to shed skin or other covering
- Med. to separate from the surrounding tissue: said of dead tissue
Origin of slough< the n.
- to shed or throw (off) as or like slough; get rid of
- Bridge to get rid of (a card); discard
- a place, as a hollow, full of soft, deep mud
Origin of sloughafter Slough of Despond, a deep swamp in Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress deep, hopeless dejection or discouragement
- moral degradation
- a swamp, bog, or marsh, esp. one that is part of an inlet or backwater
Origin of sloughMiddle English slowe ; from Old English sloh, akin to Middle Low German slōch, swamp ; from Indo-European base an unverified form sklēk, wet from source slack
- A depression or hollow, usually filled with deep mud or mire.
- also slue A stagnant swamp, marsh, bog, or pond, especially as part of a bayou, inlet, or backwater.
- A state of deep despair or moral degradation.
Origin of sloughMiddle English, from Old English slōh.
- The dead outer skin shed by a reptile or amphibian.
- Medicine A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, sore, or inflammation.
- An outer layer or covering that is shed or removed.
verbsloughed, slough·ing, sloughs
- To be cast off or shed; come off: “smooth fallen branches from which all bark has sloughed” (David M. Carroll).
- To shed a slough: every time that a snake sloughs.
- Medicine To separate from surrounding living tissue. Used of dead tissue.
- To cast off or shed (skin or a covering): came inside and sloughed off his coat.
- To discard or disregard as undesirable or unfavorable: sloughed off her misgivings.
Origin of sloughMiddle English slughe; akin to Middle High German slūch, sluoch , sloughed off snake skin (Modern German Schlauch, hose, tire tube).
(third-person singular simple present sloughs, present participle sloughing, simple past and past participle sloughed)
From Middle English, akin to Middle High German slÃ»ch (“slough") (whence German Schlauch (“tube, hose")).
- (UK) A muddy or marshy area.
- (Eastern United States) A type of swamp or shallow lake system, typically formed as or by the backwater of a larger waterway, similar to a bayou with trees.
- We paddled under a canopy of trees through the slough.
- (Western United States) A secondary channel of a river delta, usually flushed by the tide.
- The Sacramento River Delta contains dozens of sloughs that are often used for water-skiing and fishing.
- A state of depression.
- John is in a slough.
- (Canadian Prairies) A small pond, often alkaine, many but not all are formed by glacial potholes.
- Potholes or sloughs formed by a glacier's retreat from the central plains of North America, are now known to be some of the world's most productive ecosystems.
From Old English slÅh, probably from Proto-Germanic *slÅhaz.