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black dog Line breaks: black dog

Definition of black dog in English:


A metaphorical representation of melancholy or depression: I may still have a black dog in me, but I manage to keep him corralled I’m happy but the black dogs are there, lurking round 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 (earlier as a name used during Queen Anne's reign for a bad shilling). Winston Churchill used the expression when alluding to his periodic bouts of depression.

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