doldrums \DOHL-drumz\ noun
*1 : a spell of listlessness or despondency
2 often capitalized : a part of the ocean near the equator abounding in calms, squalls, and light shifting winds
3 : a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or slump
“A vacation on a tropical island could be just the thing you need to fight against the winter doldrums,” said Christine as she handed me the resort’s brochure.
Did you know?
Everyone gets the doldrums — a feeling of low spirits and lack of energy — every once in a while. The doldrums experienced by sailors, however, are usually of a different variety. In the mid-19th century, the word once reserved for a feeling of despondency came to be applied to certain tropical regions of the ocean marked by the absence of strong winds. Sailing vessels, reliant on wind propulsion, struggled to make headway in these regions, leading to long, arduous journeys. The exact etymology of “doldrums” is not certain, though it is believed to be related to the Old English “dol,” meaning “foolish” — a history it shares with our adjective “dull.”
from Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day,