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

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 Instead of digging into the earth itself, the officials broke ground for the project in a trough of dirt set up on the garage floor. Anne Saker, The Enquirer, 21 Sep. 2021 Maybe replace the trough urinals, and invest in some better gravel for the mud-pit parking lots across the street. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, 13 Nov. 2021 That's because when profits hit a trough so low they're destined to rebound, multiples look artificially high, and when earnings reach unsustainable, bubble territory, P/Es appear deceivingly modest. Shawn Tully, Fortune, 5 Nov. 2021 Underfoot are the original cobblestones; a medieval stone horse trough runs along one wall. Simon Willis, Travel + Leisure, 18 Oct. 2021 Air travel has shown signs of recovery since hitting a recent trough in mid-September, according to Transportation Security Administration figures comparing passenger traffic with 2019. Sarah Chaney Cambon, WSJ, 29 Sep. 2021 The second room has a trough-like water tank where officers fire semi-automatic handguns — or guns that fire one bullet per trigger pull — through an opening, with the water slowing and then stopping the bullets. Annie Sweeney,, 21 Sep. 2021 The Mississippi River Valley could see extensive rain and even flooding next week due to Tropic Storm Ida, but the National Weather Service states that a Canadian weather trough could limit how far north the storm can get. Cameron Knight, The Enquirer, 30 Aug. 2021 Over the years, the Triangle was used as a farmers market, a bandstand for community concerts and Civil War recruiters, and a watering trough for horses. cleveland, 28 Aug. 2021

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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Time Traveler for trough

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near trough



trough conveyor

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2021

Cite this Entry

“Trough.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on trough

Nglish: Translation of trough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of trough for Arabic Speakers


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