doldrums

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • n doldrums a belt of calms and light winds between the northern and southern trade winds of the Atlantic and Pacific
    • n doldrums a state of inactivity (in business or art etc) "economic growth of less than 1% per year is considered to be economic stagnation"
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n. pl doldrums dŏl"drŭmz A part of the ocean near the equator, abounding in calms, squalls, and light, baffling winds, which sometimes prevent all progress for weeks; -- so called by sailors.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • doldrums Low spirits; the dumps: as, he is in the doldrums.
    • doldrums Nautical, certain parts of the ocean near the equator that a bound in calms, squalls, and light baffling winds; also, the calms or variations of weather characteristic of those parts. The region of the doldrums varies in breadth from sixty to several hundred miles, and shifts its extreme limits at different seasons between latitude 5° S. and 15° N. It is overhung at a great height by a permanent belt of cloud, gathered by opposing currents of the trade-winds.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n.pl Doldrums dol′drumz (naut.) those parts of the ocean about the equator where calms and baffling winds prevail: low spirits.
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Idioms

Doldrums - If a person is in the doldrums, they are depressed. If a project or something similar is in the doldrums, it isn't making any progress.
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Down in the doldrums - If somebody's down in the doldrums, they are depressed and lacking energy.
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Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
Cf. Gael. doltrum, grief, vexation?
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
Prob. conn. with dold, stupid, or dol = dull.

Usage

In literature:

I don't want to repeat my experiences with the doldrums.
"The Land of the Kangaroo" by Thomas Wallace Knox
Oh, well, there was no sense in staying in the doldrums forever.
"Hunters Out of Space" by Joseph Everidge Kelleam
Reaction was strong, and they had both fallen into aimless doldrums of spirit.
"The Adventures of Bobby Orde" by Stewart Edward White
Besides, I count on you to help drive away the doldrums.
"A Daughter of Raasay" by William MacLeod Raine
After a year in the doldrums, Fleet was going to try to smash the Rebels again.
"A Question of Courage" by Jesse Franklin Bone
Cyrus is in the doldrums.
"A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1" by George Saintsbury
Well, we reached the tropics, and for three days the Doldrums held us.
"The Chronicles of a Gay Gordon" by José Maria Gordon
Duncan, it's plain to see, is still in the doldrums.
"The Prairie Child" by Arthur Stringer
For several months Crosson waited about, becalmed in the doldrums.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
What does the witness mean by saying you put him in a doldrum?
"Law and Laughter" by George Alexander Morton
The great Chinese autocrat, mighty Fon Whong, Was cured of the 'doldrums' by famed Doctor Long!
"English Caricaturists and Graphic Humourists of the Nineteenth Century." by Graham Everitt
It receives rains, and its vegetation grows actively, when the doldrum belt is north of the equator (May-August).
"Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 6, Slice 5" by Various
I've slept myself into the doldrums.
"Strangers and Wayfarers" by Sarah Orne Jewett
But in the fickle doldrums of the period when steam superseded sail as our motive power, we drifted apart.
"Merchantmen-at-Arms" by David W. Bone
The threatened heavy rains of the Doldrums had not come; the heavy heat subdued talk at table.
"The Bonadventure" by Edmund Blunden
The entire crew was in the doldrums.
"The Battleship Boys' First Step Upward" by Frank Gee Patchin
It is seldom that a storm originating in the doldrums moves so far inland as did this one, but it is not, however, unprecedented.
"The Complete Story of the Galveston Horror" by Various
It's a bad year now, and we're all in the doldrums, as the sailors say.
"The Crooked Stick" by Rolf Boldrewood
Try and coax Sophia away, she's forcing her doldrums on Mr Bayle.
"This Man's Wife" by George Manville Fenn
I don't care if this part of the world comes to an end, you can't get me into the doldrums.
"The Yazoo Mystery" by Irving Craddock
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In poetry:

The Trade exultant,
The Doldrum calm,
The long surf creaming
On shores of palm:
"Portrait Of A Lady-2" by Cicely Fox Smith
Through the doldrums, across the Line
We crawled; and on deck, at every turn,
The Skipper marked, with uneasy gaze,
That voyaging fin astern.
"The Shark" by Theodore Goodridge Roberts
"She has dipped her yards under, hove to off the Horn,
In the fog and the floes she has drifted forlorn,
Becalmed in the Doldrums a week long she lay,
But the girls have got hold of her tow-rope to-day."
"The Tow-Rope Girls" by Cicely Fox Smith

In news:

This part of pres campaigns is the dumdrums -- like doldrums, only we're trapped in a windless sea of dumb issues.
Passenger Traffic Continues to Rise, Cargo Remains in Doldrums .
Snowball "Winter Doldrums " Benefit.
Nurturing houseplants chases winter doldrums .
Online listens help beat the musical doldrums .
With the holidays in the rear-view mirror, the winter doldrums are infecting playlists and musical collections.
Arena plan could help pull Sacramento out of the doldrums .
Fun for Luella, doldrums for Drew.
Fonda's food, service seem to be mired in doldrums .
Nationals' Danny Espinosa looks to shake hitting doldrums .
One year on from the election of a new government, public service communications is in the doldrums .
Public service comms is in the doldrums .
Beat the Winter Doldrums, Volume 1.
C&I Lending to Stay in Doldrums .
Squalls on the horizon are familiar sights on run through the doldrums .
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In science:

After more than a decade, string theory had emerged from the doldrums.
The Early History of String Theory and Supersymmetry
At the time Kac wrote his paper, the rigorous mathematical theory of the Boltzmann equation had been in the doldrums since the landmark work of Carleman in the thirties.
Entropy and chaos in the Kac model
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