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  This entry lacks etymological information. If you are familiar with the origin of this term, please add it to the page per etymology instructions, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.
Particularly: “can the Gaelic etymology by verified?”

No definitive etymology, possibly: 1795–1805; obsolete dold (stupid) (see dolt) + -rum (noun suffix) (see tantrum); or from Goidelic doltrum (grief, vexation).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈdɒl.dɹəmz/
  • (file)

Alternative formsEdit


doldrums pl (plural only)

  1. (nautical) A part of the ocean near the equator, where calms, squalls, and light, baffling winds are common, impeding the progress of sailing ships.
    • 2001, Douglas Berry, A Ship Called Grace, iUniverse, →ISBN, page 313:
      The High Encounter entered the doldrums near the equator, where the ship ended up in the captain's effort to avoid the British. Without wind to move the ship, The High Encounter waffled in the slow-moving sea
  2. The state of boredom, malaise, apathy or lack of interest; a state of listlessness; ennui, or tedium
    I was in the doldrums yesterday and just didn't feel inspired.
    • 1998, Richard Frankel, The Adolescent Psyche: Jungian and Winnicottian Perspectives, Psychology Press, →ISBN:
      It is typical for adolescents to respond to the doldrums, feeling dead or numb inside, by sleeping a lot, watching hours upon hours of television, holing up in their room for days on end

Coordinate termsEdit

(region near the equator):

Derived termsEdit