slough

When you slough, you get rid of the rough. To slough is to remove an outer layer, like filing dry skin from feet. You can slough away emotions too, like the heebie-jeebies you get thinking about dead skin from people's feet. Ew.

Slough rhymes with "rough." It doesn't sound as though it'll give you a beautiful result, but when you slough away old skin, new skin appears. Snakes shed or slough off their skins as they grow and get rid of icky cells, and humans do the same, though fortunately we don't slough off one big skin as snakes do. Maybe it's best to slough off that mental image with a nicer one.

Definitions of slough
  1. noun
    a hollow filled with mud
    see moresee less
    type of:
    bog, peat bog
    wet spongy ground of decomposing vegetation; has poorer drainage than a swamp; soil is unfit for cultivation but can be cut and dried and used for fuel
  2. noun
    a stagnant swamp (especially as part of a bayou)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    swamp, swampland
    low land that is seasonally flooded; has more woody plants than a marsh and better drainage than a bog
  3. noun
    necrotic tissue; a mortified or gangrenous part or mass
    synonyms: gangrene, sphacelus
    see moresee less
    types:
    cold gangrene, dry gangrene, mumification necrosis, mummification
    (pathology) gangrene that develops in the presence of arterial obstruction and is characterized by dryness of the dead tissue and a dark brown color
    clostridial myonecrosis, emphysematous gangrene, emphysematous phlegmon, gangrenous emphysema, gas gangrene, gas phlegmon, progressive emphysematous necrosis
    (pathology) a deadly form of gangrene usually caused by clostridium bacteria that produce toxins that cause tissue death; can be used as a bioweapon
    type of:
    pathology
    any deviation from a healthy or normal condition
  4. noun
    any outer covering that can be shed or cast off (such as the cast-off skin of a snake)
    see moresee less
    type of:
    cover, covering, natural covering
    a natural object that covers or envelops
  5. verb
    cast off hair, skin, horn, or feathers
    synonyms: exuviate, molt, moult, shed
    see moresee less
    types:
    desquamate, peel off
    peel off in scales
    type of:
    cast, cast off, drop, shake off, shed, throw, throw away, throw off
    get rid of
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week