lax

1 of 2

adjective

1
a
of the bowels : loose, open
b
: having loose bowels
2
: deficient in firmness : not stringent
lax control
a lax foreman
security has been lax
3
a
: not tense, firm, or rigid : slack
a lax rope
b
: having an open or loose texture
a lax soil
c
: having the constituents spread apart
a lax flower cluster
4
: articulated with the muscles involved in a relatively relaxed state (such as the vowel \i\ in contrast with the vowel \ē\)
laxation noun
laxly adverb
laxness noun

lax

2 of 2

noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lax

negligent, neglectful, lax, slack, remiss mean culpably careless or indicative of such carelessness.

negligent implies inattention to one's duty or business.

negligent about writing a note of thanks

neglectful adds a more disapproving implication of laziness or deliberate inattention.

a society callously neglectful of the poor

lax implies a blameworthy lack of strictness, severity, or precision.

a reporter lax about accurate quotation

slack implies want of due or necessary diligence or care.

slack workmanship

remiss implies blameworthy carelessness shown in slackness, forgetfulness, or neglect.

had been remiss in their familial duties

Examples of lax in a Sentence

Adjective The university has been lax about enforcing these rules. lax parents who let their kids stay out as late as they want
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Lawmakers and government watchdogs have repeatedly warned about about lax safeguards at the IRS, which processed more than 270 million tax returns in fiscal year 2023. Alena Botros, Fortune, 26 June 2024 India has a lax approach to intellectual property rights, for instance, and under Prime Minister Narendra Modi, its government has been accused of dramatically eroding civil liberties. Manjari Chatterjee Miller, Foreign Affairs, 18 June 2024 Under the lax oversight by the American government, even the package labeling can’t be trusted. Linda Villarosa Robin Miles Krish Seenivasan Alec K. Redfearn, New York Times, 13 June 2024 The homicide that landed Mexican citizen Fermin Garcia-Gutierrez on national news, touted as a cautionary tale about America's lax borders, was a retaliatory crime against another man whom Garcia-Gutierrez believed had raped his girlfriend, according to testimony in Hamilton Municipal Court. Amber Hunt, The Enquirer, 11 Apr. 2024 See all Example Sentences for lax 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lax.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin laxus loose — more at slack

Noun

by shortening & alteration (x as symbol for -crosse)

First Known Use

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Noun

1951, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of lax was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near lax

Cite this Entry

“Lax.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lax. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

lax

adjective
ˈlaks
1
: not firm or tight : loose
2
: not strict
laxly adverb
laxness noun

Medical Definition

lax

adjective
1
of the bowels : loose sense 3
2
: having loose bowels

More from Merriam-Webster on lax

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!