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watering trough (noun 1)


From Middle English trough, trowgh, trow, trouȝ, trogh, from Old English troh, trog (a trough, tub, basin, vessel for containing liquids or other materials), from Proto-Germanic *trugą, *trugaz (compare West Frisian trôch, Dutch trog, German Trog, Swedish tråg), from Proto-Indo-European *dru-kó (compare Middle Irish drochta (wooden basin), Old Armenian տարգալ (targal, ladle, spoon), enlargement of *dóru (tree)). More at tree.



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.
    • 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. (Canada) A gutter under the eaves of a building; an eaves trough.
    The troughs were filled with leaves and needed clearing.
  5. (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.
  6. 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.
  7. (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, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. 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]