Share this entry

Share this page

black dog

Syllabification: black dog

Definition of black dog in English:

noun

informal
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.

Origin

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).

Definition of black dog in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtərpsikəˈrēən
adjective
of or relating to dancing