ˈtrȯf How to pronounce trough (audio)
 by bakers often  ˈtrō
plural troughs ˈtrȯfs How to pronounce trough (audio)
: a long shallow often V-shaped receptacle for the drinking water or feed of domestic animals
: any of various domestic or industrial containers
: a conduit, drain, or channel for water
especially : a gutter along the eaves of a building
: 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
: the minimum point of a complete cycle of a periodic function: such as
: an elongated area of low barometric pressure
: the low point in a business cycle

Example Sentences

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 Look for a mobile island or a piece dedicated to prepping and service, like this trough that includes a spot for ice and room to mix drinks and slice up garnishes. Alyssa Longobucco, House Beautiful, 16 Mar. 2023 Ultimately, analysts at firms like Fannie Mae and Moody's Analytics expect a peak-to-trough decline of around 10%. Lance Lambert, Fortune, 14 Mar. 2023 John Burns Real Estate Consulting expects prices to fall 20% peak-to-trough and also expects the low point near the end of 2024. Nicole Friedman, WSJ, 7 Dec. 2022 The Dow Jones Industrial Average surged 1,500 points from peak to trough and the S&P 500 posted its widest trading range since March 2020, ending the day up more than 2%. Nicole Goodkind, CNN, 14 Oct. 2022 The most successful company investments in terms of wealth created for shareholders at the decade horizon also involved very substantial peak-to-trough drawdowns. Jim Osman, Forbes, 10 June 2022 Models are in good agreement that a cold upper level trough will settle in overnight Friday bringing stronger showers into the metro area. oregonlive, 3 Mar. 2023 The shifts have spurred a roughly 60% rally in the Hang Seng Tech Index since an October trough, a world-beating feat even though the gauge’s market value is still half of its February 2021 peak. Anders Melin, Fortune, 17 Jan. 2023 There will be an area of low pressure passing south of the region overnight and an associated trough that moves through the state causing mostly cloudy skies and a 25 percent chance for some snow showers and flurries. Hartford Courant, 8 Jan. 2023 See More

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.

Word History


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

First Known Use

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near trough

Cite this Entry

“Trough.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


plural troughs ˈtrȯfs How to pronounce trough (audio) ˈtrȯvz How to pronounce trough (audio)
: a long shallow container for the drinking water or feed of domestic animals
: a pipe, drain, or channel for water
: a long and narrow or shallow hollow (as between waves or hills)

Medical Definition


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