Definition of doldrums
- fighting off the winter doldrums
- out of the economic doldrums
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These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'doldrums.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Everyone gets the doldrums - a feeling of low spirits and lack of energy - every once in a while. The doldrums experienced by sailors, however, are usually of a different variety. In the mid-19th century, the word once reserved for a feeling of despondency came to be applied to certain tropical regions of the ocean marked by the absence of strong winds. Sailing vessels, reliant on wind propulsion, struggled to make headway in these regions, leading to long, arduous journeys. The exact etymology of doldrums is not certain, though it is believed to be related to the Old English dol, meaning "foolish" - a history it shares with our adjective "dull."
First Known Use: 1765See Words from the same year
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of very fine texture or delicate form
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