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black dog Syllabification: black dog

Definition of black dog in English:


Used as a metaphor for melancholy or depression: I’m very happy, but the black dog is there, lurking around the corner
More example sentences
  • Even in my darkest hours, when the black dog of depression settles on my normally sunny countenance, I console myself with sympathetic thoughts of those even worse off than myself.
  • In Australia there has recently been recognition of the black dog of depression since several politicians and judges confessed to suffering from it.
  • ‘I gotta work my way away from the black dog of depression daily,’ he said at the time.


Late 18th century: figuratively from a cant name used during Queen Anne's reign (1702–14) for a base silver coin (usually a bad shilling).

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