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doldrums

[dohl-druh mz, dol-, dawl-] /ˈdoʊl drəmz, ˈdɒl-, ˈdɔl-/
noun, (used with a plural verb)
1.
a state of inactivity or stagnation, as in business or art:
August is a time of doldrums for many enterprises.
2.
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.
3.
a dull, listless, depressed mood; low spirits.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; obsolete dold stupid (see dolt) + -rum(s) (plural) noun suffix (see tantrum)
Synonyms
3. depression, gloom, melancholy, dejection.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for the doldrums

doldrums

/ˈdɒldrəmz/
noun the doldrums
1.
a depressed or bored state of mind
2.
a state of inactivity or stagnation
3.
  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 the doldrums

doldrums

n.

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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the doldrums in Science
doldrums
  (dōl'drəmz')   
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 the doldrums

doldrums

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for the doldrums

doldrums

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.

Learn more about doldrums with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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