\ ˈtrȯf How to pronounce trough (audio) , ˈtrȯth, by bakers often ˈtrō\
plural troughs\ ˈtrȯfs How to pronounce troughs (audio) , 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

The track is especially dependent on the intensity and orientation of a trough of low pressure, or dip in the jet stream that is helping to draw the storm northward and eventually shunt it northeast out into the North Atlantic. Andrew Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Dorian starts inching north, closer to Florida, Georgia and Carolinas," 3 Sep. 2019 As a result, astronomers expect to see a second dip, or trough, in the CMB spectrum at a different, shorter wavelength; this is the signature that EDGES seems to have detected. Davide Castelvecchi, Scientific American, "The Quest to Unlock the Secrets of the Baby Universe," 26 Aug. 2019 Taken individually, any one of them—its massive catalog of preexisting content, as well as whatever's yet to come—could entice someone into spending $6.99 a month to feed at the trough. Peter Rubin, WIRED, "Disney+ Brandishes Its Weapon: An Infinity Gauntlet of Brands," 20 Aug. 2019 The ridges of the mountain are rugged — full of troughs and valleys that can hinder sonar. Julie Cohn,, "Finding Amelia Earhart’s plane seemed impossible. Then came a startling clue," 12 Aug. 2019 In the recent economic expansion, from the recession trough in 2009 through May 2019, the Bay Area’s tech industry has soared by a dramatic 57 percent, while the number of all jobs in the Bay Area jobs has surged by a sturdy 29.8 percent. George Avalos, The Mercury News, "Tech jobs soar to all-time record in Bay Area," 5 July 2019 The best response is to remind voters that big business enjoys the cushiest of safety nets and first dibs at the government trough. David Von Drehle, The Denver Post, "Von Drehle: How Democrats can respond when President Trump cries socialism," 23 June 2019 The unveiling of Charon showed a series of troughs and cliffs 600 miles across, and a canyon 4 to 6 miles deep. John Wenz, Popular Mechanics, "Here's What We Know About Pluto So Far," 17 July 2015 On the anniversary of their mother's death in season 1, Beth bathed in a trough — yep, the same one that their horses use — while drinking champagne straight from the bottle. Amanda Garrity, Good Housekeeping, "Wednesday's 'Yellowstone' Shows John Dutton Getting Emotional About His Wife's Death," 6 Aug. 2019

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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Statistics for trough

Last Updated

4 Oct 2019

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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 How to pronounce trough (audio) \

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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More from Merriam-Webster on trough

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with trough

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for trough

Spanish Central: Translation of trough

Nglish: Translation of trough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trough for Arabic Speakers

Comments on trough

What made you want to look up trough? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to wander slowly or to speak indistinctly

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