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watering trough (noun 1)


From Middle English trogh, from Old English troh, trog (a trough, tub, basin, vessel for containing liquids or other materials), from Proto-West Germanic *trog, from Proto-Germanic *trugą, *trugaz, from Proto-Indo-European *drukós, enlargement of *dóru (tree).

See also West Frisian trôch, Dutch trog, German Trog, Danish trug, Swedish tråg; also Middle Irish drochta (wooden basin), Old Armenian տարգալ (targal, ladle, spoon). More at tree.


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Particularly: "Canada"


trough (plural troughs)

  1. A long, narrow container, open on top, for feeding or watering animals.
    One of Hank's chores was to slop the pigs' trough each morning and evening.
  2. Any similarly shaped container.
    • 1961 November, “Talking of Trains: The North Eastern's new rail-mounted piling unit”, in Trains Illustrated, page 646:
      Now, covered concrete troughs to house the cables are laid parallel with the railway lines, cheapening maintenance because of improved accessibility for inspection and repair.
    • 1976, Frederick Bentham, The art of stage lighting, page 233:
      It just clips on the front of the stage without any special trough, has no great power and occupies only one dimmer, []
    1. (Australia, New Zealand) A rectangular container used for washing or rinsing clothes.
      Ernest threw his paint brushes into a kind of trough he had fashioned from sheet metal that he kept in the sink.
  3. A short, narrow canal designed to hold water until it drains or evaporates.
    There was a small trough that the sump pump emptied into; it was filled with mosquito larvae.
  4. (colloquial) An undivided metal urinal (plumbing fixture)
  5. (Canada) A gutter under the eaves of a building; an eaves trough.
    The troughs were filled with leaves and needed clearing.
  6. (agriculture, Australia, New Zealand) A channel for conveying water or other farm liquids (such as milk) from place to place by gravity; any ‘U’ or ‘V’ cross-sectioned irrigation channel.
  7. A long, narrow depression between waves or ridges; the low portion of a wave cycle.
    The buoy bobbed between the crests and troughs of the waves moving across the bay.
    The neurologist pointed to a troubling trough in the pattern of his brain-waves.
  8. (economics) A low turning point or a local minimum of a business cycle.
    Antonym: peak
  9. (meteorology) A linear atmospheric depression associated with a weather front.


  • manger (container for feeding animals)

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


trough (third-person singular simple present troughs, present participle troughing, simple past and past participle troughed)

  1. To eat in a vulgar style, as if from a trough.
    He troughed his way through three meat pies.


  • Oxford English Dictionary Online

See also[edit]


Middle English[edit]



  1. Alternative form of trogh