variants: also slew or slue

Synonyms of slough

(Entry 1 of 3)

spongy land saturated or partially covered with water
  • the land for miles around the lake is strewn with ponds, sloughs, and mudflats

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verb (1)

Synonyms & Antonyms of slough (Entry 2 of 3)

to move heavily or clumsily
  • the unpleasant task of sloughing through the muck to retrieve the ball

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verb (2)
variants: also sluff

Synonyms of slough (Entry 3 of 3)

to cast (a natural bodily covering or appendage) aside
  • the snake is sloughing its old skin

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Frequently Asked Questions About slough

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

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Time Traveler for slough

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

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Cite this Entry

“Slough.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on slough

Nglish: Translation of slough for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slough for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about slough


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