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[dohl-druh mz, dol-, dawl-] /ˈdoʊl drəmz, ˈdɒl-, ˈdɔl-/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
a state of inactivity or stagnation, as in business or art:
August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises.
the doldrums.
  1. a belt of calms and light baffling winds north of the equator between the northern and southern trade winds in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
  2. the weather prevailing in this area.
a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.
Origin of doldrums
1795-1805; obsolete dold stupid (see dolt) + -rum(s) (plural) noun suffix (see tantrum)
3. depression, gloom, melancholy, dejection. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for doldrums
  • The everyday doldrums are but a faint shade of true clinical depression, according to those who experience it.
  • The doldrums was never a place and should not be capitalized.
  • The reason the publishing industry is in such doldrums is that books aren't selling.
  • One reason for the current doldrums is that many firms still regret binge-buying during the bubble.
  • In spring the area's animals break out of their winter doldrums.
  • Life lazed through those doldrums for a million millennia.
  • Sponsorships and time-slot campaigns are the key to moving out of the doldrums of low-value, high-inventory web advertising.
  • And as usual, there's little time for appraisal, what with the primary coming so soon after the summer doldrums.
  • But withdrawal of even small parts of the stimulus packages can send an economy back into the doldrums.
  • Sleep researchers say waking with light is the best remedy for the winter doldrums.
British Dictionary definitions for doldrums


noun the doldrums
a depressed or bored state of mind
a state of inactivity or stagnation
  1. a belt of light winds or calms along the equator
  2. the weather conditions experienced in this belt, formerly a hazard to sailing vessels
Word Origin
C19: probably from Old English doldull, influenced by tantrum
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for doldrums

1811, from dulled, past participle of dullen, from Old English dol "foolish, dull," ending perhaps patterned on tantrum.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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doldrums in Science
A region of the globe found over the oceans near the equator in the intertropical convergence zone and having weather characterized variously by calm air, light winds, or squalls and thunderstorms. Hurricanes originate in this region.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with doldrums


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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