- I. noun Etymology: Middle English sloughe, slo, from Old English slōh; akin to Middle High German slouche ditch Date: before 12th century 1. a. a place of deep mud or mire b. (also slew) (or slue) (1) swamp (2) an inlet on a river; also backwater (3) a creek in a marsh or tide flat 2. a state of moral degradation or spiritual dejection • sloughy adjective II. verb Date: 1846 transitive verb to engulf in a slough intransitive verb to plod through or as if through mud ; slog III. noun also sluff Etymology: Middle English slughe; akin to Middle High German slūch snakeskin Date: 14th century 1. the cast-off skin of a snake 2. a mass of dead tissue separating from an ulcer 3. something that may be shed or cast off IV. verb also sluff Date: 1720 intransitive verb 1. a. to become shed or cast off b. to cast off one's skin c. to separate in the form of dead tissue from living tissue 2. to crumble slowly and fall away transitive verb 1. to cast off 2. a. to get rid of or discard as irksome, objectionable, or disadvantageous — usually used with off b. to dispose of (a losing card in bridge) by discarding Synonyms: see discard
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.