slough 1 of 3

variants also slew or slue
as in marsh
spongy land saturated or partially covered with water the land for miles around the lake is strewn with ponds, sloughs, and mudflats

Synonyms & Similar Words



2 of 3

verb (1)


3 of 3

verb (2)

variants also sluff
as in to shed
to cast (a natural bodily covering or appendage) aside the snake is sloughing its old skin

Synonyms & Similar Words

Synonym Chooser

How is the word slough different from other verbs like it?

Some common synonyms of slough are cast, discard, junk, scrap, and shed. While all these words mean "to get rid of," shed and slough imply a throwing off of something both useless and encumbering and often suggest a consequent renewal of vitality or luster.

shed a bad habit
finally sloughed off the depression

When is it sensible to use cast instead of slough?

The words cast and slough can be used in similar contexts, but cast, especially when used with off, away, or out, implies a forceful rejection or repudiation.

cast off her friends

When might discard be a better fit than slough?

The meanings of discard and slough largely overlap; however, discard implies the letting go or throwing away of something that has become useless or superfluous though often not intrinsically valueless.

discard old clothes

How do scrap and junk relate to one another, in the sense of slough?

Both scrap and junk imply throwing away or breaking up as worthless in existent form.

scrap all the old ways
would junk our educational system


Thesaurus Entries Near slough

Cite this Entry

“Slough.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on slough

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!