Word of the Day – Slough

Word of the Day : March 3, 2022


verb SLUFF

What It Means

Slough means “to cast something off or to become shed or cast off.” It is often used in the phrase slough off meaning “to get rid of something objectionable or disadvantageous.”

// The snake sloughs its skin several times a year.

// The company needed to slough off some of its old practices that were keeping it from being as competitive as possible.

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SLOUGH in Context

“Use the scrub once or twice a week to slough off dead skin cells for smoother skin.” — Lindsay Tigar, The Asheville (North Carolina) Citizen-Times, 23 Jan. 2022

Did You Know?

There are two verbs spelled slough in English, as well as two nouns, and both sets have different pronunciations. The first noun, referring to a swamp or a discouraged state of mind, is pronounced to rhyme with either blue or cow. Its related verb, which can mean “to plod through mud,” has the same pronunciation. The second noun, pronounced to rhyme with cuff, refers to the shed skin of a snake (as well as anything else that has been cast off). Its related verb describes the action of shedding or eliminating something, just like a snake sheds its skin. This slough comes from Middle English slughe and is related to slūch, a Middle High German word meaning “snakeskin.”