[dohl-druhmz, dol-, dawl-]
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.
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.
the weather prevailing in this area.
a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.

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. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
doldrums (ˈdɒldrəmz)
1.  a depressed or bored state of mind
2.  a state of inactivity or stagnation
3.  a.  a belt of light winds or calms along the equator
 b.  the weather conditions experienced in this belt, formerly a hazard to sailing vessels
[C19: probably from Old English doldull, influenced by tantrum]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1811, from dulled, pp. of dullen, from O.E. dol "foolish, dull," ending perhaps patterned on tantrum.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
doldrums   (dōl'drəmz')  Pronunciation Key 
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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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see in the doldrums.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Encyclopedia Britannica


equatorial regions of light ocean currents and winds within the intertropical convergence zone (ITCZ), a belt of converging winds and rising air encircling the Earth near the Equator. The northeast and southeast trade winds meet there; this meeting causes air uplift and often produces clusters of convective thunderstorms. They occur along the Equator in the Indian and western Pacific oceans and slightly north of the Equator off the African and Central American west coasts. The crews of sailing ships dreaded the doldrums because their ships were often becalmed there; the designation for the resultant state of depression was apparently thus extended to these geographic regions themselves.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
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
One reason for the current doldrums is that many firms still regret
  binge-buying during the bubble.
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