lax

adjective
\ ˈlaks \

Definition of lax 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a of the bowels : loose, open

b : having loose bowels

2 : deficient in firmness : not stringent lax control a lax foreman security has been lax

3a : 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\)

lax

noun

Definition of lax (Entry 2 of 2)

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from lax

Adjective

laxation \lak-ˈsā-shən \ noun
laxly \ˈlaks-lē \ adverb
laxness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for lax

Adjective

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

The episode occurred months before the deadly Ghost Ship fire at an artists’ collective drew attention to the dangers of unpermitted residences and the city’s lax oversight of such properties. Kimberly Veklerov, SFChronicle.com, "Oakland finds likely collusion between inspector, property owner in eviction," 1 July 2018 Contentious and last-minute issues: Giving $550,000 to the Center for Closing the Health Gap: Mayor John Cranley opposed it because of a review that found lax oversight for the group. Sharon Coolidge, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati's 2019 budget: Money for Health Gap, 911 center and police OT, and lots of fee increases," 27 June 2018 But new details about his agency's lax oversight comes after his campaign has weathered criticism of Putnam's full embrace of gun rights. Steve Contorno, miamiherald, "Florida approved thousands of concealed weapons permits without background checks," 8 June 2018 In an earlier report, the health department said Cathedral Village provided lax oversight of temporary staff. Harold Brubaker, Philly.com, "Testimony: White House call kicked off criminal investigation of H.R. McMaster Sr.'s death at Cathedral Village," 5 June 2018 The warnings of lax oversight and little accountability proved prescient. Graham Vyse, The New Republic, "Is Washington Ready for Another Betsy DeVos?," 28 Mar. 2018 New provisions — daily inspections and daily fines for each day a violation exists — were meant to replace lax oversight that existed at the time Caleb died. Steve Vockrodt, Tony Rizzo, Glenn E. Rice And Laura Bauer, kansascity, "Ex-Schlitterbahn executive charged with manslaughter in 2016 death on water slide | The Kansas City Star," 23 Mar. 2018 Michigan’s system faced harsh criticism from liberal education reformers for its lax oversight and, consequently, unimpressive performance. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Obama’s Education Legacy Has Been Forgotten. Now He Has to Save It.," 27 Feb. 2018 There is also lax enforcement by funding agencies and editors of journals in data reporting. Scott Waldman, Scientific American, "Climate Science Can Be More Transparent, Researchers Say," 10 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lax.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of lax

Adjective

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

Noun

1951, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for lax

Adjective

Middle English, from Latin laxus loose — more at slack

Noun

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about lax

Dictionary Entries near lax

lawyer palm

lawyer up

lawyer vine

lax

laxate

laxative

laxism

Statistics for lax

Last Updated

6 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for lax

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for lax

lax

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of lax

: not careful enough : not strict enough

lax

adjective
\ ˈlaks \

Kids Definition of lax

1 : not firm or tight : loose The straps were lax.

2 : not stern or strict lax discipline

Other words from lax

laxness noun

lax

adjective
\ ˈlaks \

Medical Definition of lax 

1 of the bowels : loose sense 3

2 : having loose bowels

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on lax

What made you want to look up lax? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to make amends

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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