in the doldrums

Idioms & Phrases

in the doldrums

Depressed; dull and listless. For example, Dean's in the doldrums for most of every winter. This expression alludes to the maritime doldrums, a belt of calms and light winds north of the equator in which sailing ships were often becalmed. [Early 1800s] Also see down in the dumps.

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