dol·​drum | \ ˈdōldrəm, ˈdäl- sometimes ˈdȯl- \
plural -s

Definition of doldrum

1 doldrums plural
a : a spell of listlessness or despondency : blues
b : a state of bafflement : quandary
2 archaic : a sluggish or slow-witted person
3 doldrums plural
a : a region over the ocean near the equator abounding in calms, squalls, and light baffling winds
b : the calms met with in that region
4 doldrums plural : a condition of inactivity, retardation, or stagnation:
a : a downswing, slump, or slack period (as in business or industry) through the economic doldrums of the late forties— Drew Middleton bring the antiques business out of the depression doldrums— Alice Winchester : a period of sagging or falling off (as in sales or financial or political activity)
b : a deterioration to a low ebb of vigor, creative power, or effectiveness that American fiction is at present in the doldrums is borne out anew— Amy Loveman

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First Known Use of doldrum

1811, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for doldrum

probably akin to Old English dol foolish, silly

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The first known use of doldrum was in 1811

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Cite this Entry

“Doldrum.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2021.

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