In the doldrums


      • feeling low or depressed
        to describe a person or situation that is in a state of sadness or lack of activity

      • stagnant or inactive
        to describe a business or economy that is not growing or progressing

    Examples of In the doldrums

    • The sales department has been in the doldrums for the past quarter.

      The phrase "in the doldrums" here refers to a state of listlessness, lack of activity, or depression. In this example, it implies that the sales department has been experiencing a slump or a decrease in sales for the past three months.

    • The stock market seems to be in the doldrums today.

      In this example, "in the doldrums" is used to describe a period of slowness or stagnation in the stock market. It can suggest that there is a lack of movement or excitement in the market, as stocks are not performing well.

    • The weather has been in the doldrums for days now.

      This example shows how the term "in the doldrums" can be applied to weather conditions that are characterized by dullness or dead calm. When the weather is in the doldrums, it implies that there is little movement, change, or excitement in the atmosphere.

    • The project ran into some unforeseen difficulties, leaving us in the doldrums.

      In this example, "in the doldrums" denotes a state of uncertainty, confusion, or frustration. It emphasizes the feeling of being lost or stuck due to unexpected challenges that arise during a project or endeavor.

    • The sales team has been in the doldrums for months, with no new leads or conversions.

      The sales team has been experiencing a prolonged period of stagnation and lack of progress. The "doldrums" is a nautical term used to describe a calm area of ocean where winds are light and unpredictable, making it difficult for ships to make progress. This idiom is applied to situations where there is a lack of activity, movement or motivation.

    • After her breakup, Emily felt like she was in the doldrums, unsure of what to do next or how to move forward.

      Emily experienced a sense of aimlessness and uncertainty following her breakup, feeling stuck and uncertain about her future. The "doldrums" is a metaphorical way to describe this state of emotional and mental stagnation.

    • The business has been stuck in the doldrums ever since the pandemic forced us to close our doors.

      The business has been suffering from a lack of progress or activity since the pandemic forced it to close down. The "doldrums" is a powerful idiom that helps to vividly convey the feeling of being stuck and unproductive, especially during challenging times.

    • As Sarah coped with her grief, she found herself in the doldrums, feeling lost and disconnected from the world around her.

      Sarah experienced a deep sense of emotional stagnation and detachment following her loss, feeling disconnected from the world and unsure of how to move forward. The "doldrums" is an evocative metaphor that helps to describe this state of emotional and mental numbness.


    The idiom "in the doldrums" is commonly used to describe a feeling of low spirits or a lack of activity. It can refer to a person who is feeling down or depressed, or to a situation, such as a business or economy, that is stagnant or inactive.

    The phrase is often used to convey a sense of negativity or lack of progress, and can be applied to a variety of contexts, from personal emotions to larger-scale economic trends.

    Origin of "In the doldrums"

    The term "doldrums" originally referred to a region of the Atlantic Ocean near the equator that is known for its calm and stagnant winds. Sailors would often become stuck in this area for long periods of time, leading to a feeling of inactivity and stagnation.

    Over time, the term "in the doldrums" came to be used figuratively to describe any situation or person that was similarly stagnant or inactive. Today, it is commonly used in both literal and metaphorical contexts to convey a sense of low spirits or lack of progress.