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See also: SLUFF


Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English slough (skin, husk, rind; cocoon; scales; cyst), akin to Middle High German slûch (slough) (whence German Schlauch (tube, hose)).


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


sluff (plural sluffs)

  1. Alternative spelling of slough (skin shed by a snake or other reptile).
    That is the sluff of a rattler; we must be careful.
  2. Alternative spelling of slough (dead skin on a sore or ulcer).
    This is the sluff that came off of his skin after the burn.
  3. An avalanche, mudslide, or a like slumping of material or debris.
    • 2001 Mar, Buck Tilton, “Cold Comfort”, in Boys Life, volume 91, number 3, page 18:
      The Scouts learned from expert Keith Burke that snow avalanches come in different forms. A powder or "sluff" avalanche starts at a single point and fans out as surface snow slides downhill. These avalanches are not as violent as slab avalanches. Slab avalanches are very dangerous. They occur when a whole hillside of snow breaks loose in a giant slab, which then breaks into snow blocks that tumble downhill faster and faster.
    • 2002 March 2, Sid Perkins, “Avalanche! Scientists are digging out the secrets of lethal flows of snow.”, in The Free Library[1]:
      At least for small sluffs like the ones Brown and his colleagues have triggered, the avalanche slides like a block of material instead of flowing like a fluid.



sluff (third-person singular simple present sluffs, present participle sluffing, simple past and past participle sluffed)

  1. Alternative spelling of slough (to shed or to slide off).
    • 1995 Jan, Peter Oliver, “Easy Doesn't Do It”, in Skiing, volume 47, number 5, page 24:
      While I found wonderfully soft and untracked snow near the top, I ended up surprised by the firmer stuff in the chutes near the bottom, where small slides had sluffed away the soft, top layer.
    • 2011 October 10, “Anatomy of an avalanche”, in Encyclopedia of Earth[2]:
      After temperatures warm up a little, however, the snow will "sluff", or slide, down the front of the windshield, often in small slabs.
  2. ignore, shrug (off)
    • 1996 January 29, Kevin Acee, “Several coaches are worried over what will happen to their sports”, in The Free Library[3], archived from the original on 26 April 2013:
      Blaser, for whom the rumored death of his program has been an annual affair, recalled the other day how nervous he was the first time he heard swimming might be cut his freshman year and how it became easier to sluff off the rumors.
  3. Alternative spelling of slough (discard).
    • 2009 February 16, Phillip Alder, “At a Florida Game, an Unusual Double Squeeze”, in New York Times[4]:
      If either played another club, declarer would ruff on the board and sluff his diamond queen.
  4. to avoid working
    He's sluffing off somewhere.
  5. (transitive, Utah, Idaho) To play truant from (school).
    • Sunshine for the Latter-Day Saint Mother's Soul
      Both calls told her the same thing — that her son had been sluffing school. She felt betrayed. She had trusted this child.


Derived terms[edit]