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Word of the Day - for Toastmasters everywhere
Tuesday 12th December 2017
Archive | Previous word | Today's word |

slough (noun) SLOW

Extreme despondency, deep depression.

The expression Slough of Despond (see the fourth quotation) is taken from John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The word slough with this pronunciation also means a bog, marsh or muddy hollow and in that novel Christian sinks into a slough under the burden of his guilt.

He saw himself as the only point of free will in the landscape before him, and if he could move his body with a purpose, then his mind would shake off the slough of misery and clear for action.

Melvyn Bragg, The Maid of Buttermere. Amazon

Running her own business meant that there was no let-up, no time for sliding into a slough of self-pity and morbid reconstruction of events that sapped her energy.
Joanna Neil, The Waters of Eden. Amazon

In fact, our current slough of self-loathing is at the heart of stern-faced Fabio's high approval ratings.

Barney Ronay, The Guardian, 15 December 2007. Guardian

Life for Mr. Bacanovic, who is 44 and recently completed his probation, has been a slow trudge through the slough of a legal and regulatory despond.

Landon Thomas, The New York Times, 13 October 2006. New York Times

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