\ ˈtrȯf , ˈtrȯth , by bakers often ˈtrō \
plural troughs\ˈtrȯfs, ˈtrȯvz; ˈtrȯths, ˈtrȯ(t͟h)z; ˈtrōz \

Definition of trough 

1a : a long shallow often V-shaped receptacle for the drinking water or feed of domestic animals

b : any of various domestic or industrial containers

2a : a conduit, drain, or channel for water especially : a gutter along the eaves of a building

b : a long and narrow or shallow channel or depression (as between waves or hills) especially : a long but shallow depression in the bed of the sea — compare trench

3 : the minimum point of a complete cycle of a periodic function: such as

a : an elongated area of low barometric pressure

b : the low point in a business cycle

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Examples of trough in a Sentence

The economy is in a trough right now. all of the wiring for the converted residential loft is concealed in a vertical trough

Recent Examples on the Web

Puppies doing anything is great, so ahead of Saturday’s Kentucky Derby, watching 15 of them race to a trough filled with dog food is obviously amazing. Michelle R. Martinelli, For The Win, "Watch 15 adorable puppies try to predict the 2018 Kentucky Derby winner," 5 May 2018 The final pattern features a trough, or a region of somewhat low atmospheric pressure, across the East that would provide cooler and generally wetter conditions than average. Dave Epstein,, "What’s the weather going to be like the rest of the summer?," 6 July 2018 The 158-year-old spa recently introduced Quartz Massage, or psammotherapy (derived from the Greek word for sand), which involves lying atop a trough-like table of heated crystals more coarse than beach sand. Melinda Fulmer,, "I tried a 100-degree Quartz Massage — and loved it," 29 June 2018 As the trough fills, the water drops into five separate and removable tubs containing soil and layers of gravel. Don Behm, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Some Milwaukee residents to get free state-of-the-art garden boxes to help prevent combined sewer overflows," 12 June 2018 Make sure to place baits in troughs for best results. Mark Blythe,, "Fishing 101: Learn how to start fishing in Central Florida," 11 July 2018 When the van broke down, some stayed in a chilled cattle trough. Joanna Klein, New York Times, "This Coral Must Die," 25 June 2018 And so something like a little filler in the trough, plus the upper lids, will tide them over another five years or so, and then after a face-lift, for instance, tweaks can be made with fillers to just enhance the overall look. Carolyne Zinko, San Francisco Chronicle, "How to look your absolute best at any age? We asked the experts.," 15 May 2018 Some have hauled water and left it in troughs for animals. Washington Post, "Dozens of wild horses found dead amid Southwest drought," 4 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'trough.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of trough

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for trough

Middle English, from Old English trog; akin to Old High German trog trough, Old English trēow tree, wood — more at tree entry 1

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Phrases Related to trough

have/get one's nose/snout in the trough

Statistics for trough

Last Updated

23 Aug 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for trough

The first known use of trough was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for trough



English Language Learners Definition of trough

: a long, shallow container from which animals (such as cows, pigs, horses, etc.) eat or drink

: a period in which there is little economic activity and prices are usually low

: a long, low area between waves or hills


\ ˈtrȯf \

Kids Definition of trough

1 : a long shallow open container especially for water or feed for livestock

2 : a channel for water : gutter

3 : a long channel or hollow


Medical Definition of trough 

— see gingival trough

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Comments on trough

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