Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search
See also: Slough


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English slogh, slugh, slouh. Akin to Middle Low German slô (sheath, skin on a hoof). Perhaps also related with Old Saxon slūk (snakeskin), Middle High German slūch, whence German Schlauch (waterskin, hose).

Alternative forms[edit]


  • enPR: slŭf, IPA(key): /slʌf/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ʌf


slough (plural sloughs)

  1. The skin shed by a snake or other reptile.
    That is the slough of a rattler; we must be careful.
  2. Dead skin on a sore or ulcer.
    This is the slough that came off of his skin after the burn.


slough (third-person singular simple present sloughs, present participle sloughing, simple past and past participle sloughed)

  1. (transitive) To shed (skin).
    This skin is being sloughed.
    Snakes slough their skin periodically.
  2. (intransitive) To slide off (like a layer of skin).
    A week after he was burned, a layer of skin on his arm sloughed off.
    • 2013, Casey Watson, Mummy’s Little Helper: The heartrending true story of a young girl:
      The mud sloughed off her palms easily []
  3. (transitive, card games) To discard.
    East sloughed a heart.
  4. (intransitive, slang, Western US) To commit truancy, be absent from school without permission. (compare ditch)
    "Dude, Kaydn and Jarom are totally sloughing today!"
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English slōh, probably from Proto-Germanic *slōhaz.



English Wikipedia has an article on:

slough (plural sloughs)

  1. (Britain) A muddy or marshy area.
    • 1883 "That comed - as you call it - of being arrant asses," retorted the doctor, "and not having sense enough to know honest air from poison, and the dry land from a vile, pestiferous slough. — Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
  2. (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.
  3. (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.
  4. A state of depression.
    John is in a slough.
  5. (Canadian Prairies) A small pond, often alkaline, many but not all 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.
Derived terms[edit]