The noun is possibly derived from dull or Middle English dold (past participle of dullen, dollen (“to make or become blunt or dull; to make or become dull-witted or stupid; to make or become inactive”), from dul, dol, dolle (“not sharp, blunt, dull; not quick-witted, stupid; lethargic, sluggish”); see further at dull), modelled after tantrum.
The adjective is probably derived from the noun.
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈdɒldɹəm/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈdɑldɹəm/
Audio (AU) (file)
- Hyphenation: dol‧drum
doldrum (plural doldrums)
- (slang, obsolete) A slothful or stupid person.
- 1817 April 30, William Hone, “Political Priestcraft, Continued, in another Epistle to the Rev. Dan[iel] Wilson, […]”, in Hone’s Reformists’ Register, and Weekly Commentary, volume I, number 15, London: Printed by J. D. Dewick, […]; published by William Hone, […], published 3 May 1817, OCLC 54363424, columns 476–477:
- Were there no "tears and miseries," when the half-witted doldrums, thinking they were not big enough to be seen, put themselves on horseback, to bask and frolic in a procession, and meet their man-midwife, or surgeon, or whatever he is, who had left his business at Norwich, to go to London, for the purpose of administering their little nostrum to the Prince Regent?
- Boring, uninteresting.
- Synonym: humdrum
- She quit her doldrum job and left to seek a life of adventure.