2 [sluhf]
the outer layer of the skin of a snake, which is cast off periodically.
Pathology. a mass or layer of dead tissue separated from the surrounding or underlying tissue.
anything that is shed or cast off.
Cards. a discard.
verb (used without object)
to be or become shed or cast off, as the slough of a snake.
to cast off a slough.
Pathology. to separate from the sound flesh, as a slough.
Cards. to discard a card or cards.
verb (used with object)
to dispose or get rid of; cast (often followed by off ): to slough off a bad habit.
to shed as or like a slough.
Cards. to discard (cards).
Verb phrases
slough over, to treat as slight or trivial: to slough over a friend's mistake.
Also, sluff.

1250–1300; Middle English slughe, slouh skin of a snake; cognate with German Schlauch skin, bag

sloughiness, noun
sloughy, adjective
unsloughed, adjective
unsloughing, adjective

6. molt. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
slough1 (slaʊ)
1.  a hollow filled with mud; bog
2.  (US), (Canadian)
 a.  (in the prairies) a large hole where water collects or the water in such a hole
 b.  (in the northwest) a sluggish side channel of a river
 c.  (on the Pacific coast) a marshy saltwater inlet
3.  despair or degradation
[Old English slōh; related to Middle High German sluoche ditch, Swedish slaga swamp]

slough2 (slʌf)
1.  any outer covering that is shed, such as the dead outer layer of the skin of a snake, the cellular debris in a wound, etc
2.  bridge Also: sluff a discarded card
3.  (often foll by off) to shed (a skin, etc) or (of a skin, etc) to be shed
4.  bridge Also: sluff to discard (a card or cards)
[C13: of Germanic origin; compare Middle Low German slū husk, German Schlauch hose, Norwegian slō fleshy part of a horn]

Slough (slaʊ)
1.  an industrial town in SE central England, in Slough unitary authority, Berkshire; food products, high-tech industries. Pop: 126 276 (2001)
2.  a unitary authority in SE central England, in Berkshire. Pop: 118 800 (2003 est). Area: 28 sq km (11 sq miles)

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

"muddy place," O.E. sloh "soft, muddy ground," of uncertain origin, perhaps from P.Gmc. *slokhaz. Figurative use, e.g. of moral sunkenness or Bunyan's "Slough of Despond," attested from mid-13c.

"to cast off" (as the skin of a snake or other animal), 1720, originally of diseased tissue, from M.E. noun slughe, slouh "shed skin of a snake" (c.1300), probably related to O.S. sluk "skin of a snake," M.H.G. sluch "snakeskin, wineskin," M.L.G. slu "husk, peel, skin," Ger. Schlauch "wineskin;" from
P.Gmc. *sluk-, of uncertain origin, perhaps from PIE base *sleug- "to glide."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

slough (slŭf)
A layer or mass of dead tissue separated from surrounding living tissue, as in a wound, a sore, or an inflammation. v. sloughed, slough·ing, sloughs
To separate from surrounding living tissue. Used of dead tissue.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
slough   (slŭf)  Pronunciation Key 
Noun   The dead outer skin shed by a reptile or an amphibian.

Verb   To shed an outer layer of skin.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
Any attempt to discuss personal problems is sloughed off with the comment that
  that is not his job.
These cells are continually sloughed off the surface of the skin and replaced
  by cells that mature from the basal layer.
Import and export of marine mammal prey specimens, sloughed skin, fecal and
  breath samples obtained is authorized.
Histopathological examination showed that gill respiratory epithelial tissues
  sloughed away from the underlying pillar cells.
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