slacken

verb
slack·​en | \ ˈsla-kən How to pronounce slacken (audio) \
slackened; slackening\ ˈsla-​kᵊn-​iŋ How to pronounce slackening (audio) \

Definition of slacken

transitive verb

1 : to make less active : slow up slacken speed at a crossing
2 : to make slack (as by lessening tension or firmness) slacken sail

intransitive verb

1 : to become slack or slow or negligent : slow down
2 : to become less active : slack

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Synonyms & Antonyms for slacken

Synonyms

Antonyms

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Choose the Right Synonym for slacken

delay, retard, slow, slacken, detain mean to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress. delay implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival. bad weather delayed our arrival retard suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping. language barriers retarded their progress slow and slacken also imply a reduction of speed, slow often suggesting deliberate intention medication slowed the patient's heart rate , slacken an easing up or relaxing of power or effort. on hot days runners slacken their pace detain implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time. unexpected business had detained her

Examples of slacken in a Sentence

Sales show no sign of slackening. As he began to relax, his grip on the steering wheel slackened. The captain ordered us to slacken the sails.
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Recent Examples on the Web But the rate of decline slackened as some parts of the economy were allowed to reopen. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Was April rock bottom for the economy? New data provides some clues," 21 May 2020 Some of these have been famous for grace and elegance, others more infamous for what could be termed jaw-slackening design. Mike Duff, Car and Driver, "Aston Martin Vantage Zagato V12 Coupe, Speedster Pair Revealed," 21 Apr. 2020 The dance is full of impulse-like actions and slackened pauses. Ian Johnson, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 30–April 5," 5 Apr. 2020 My resistance slackened as soon as the injection was administered, and the nurses put an oxygen mask on my face. Sylvia Poggioli, The New York Review of Books, "Pandemic Journal, March 23–29," 29 Mar. 2020 As the economic effects of the coronavirus worsen, the state’s unemployment rate may peak at 16.4% in the second quarter of this year, then gradually slacken. Margot Roosevelt, Los Angeles Times, "California faces two years of high unemployment from coronavirus, UCLA predicts," 10 Apr. 2020 Or that masks would provide a false sense of security, leading them to slacken off social distancing or other measures. Hilda Bastian, Wired, "The Face Mask Debate Reveals a Scientific Double Standard," 8 Apr. 2020 Those directives have since slackened dramatically as the number of patients has increased and supplies dwindled, the nurse said. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Bay Area health care workers dealing with coronavirus short of crucial face masks," 19 Mar. 2020 Honeywell still recorded healthy growth in its chemicals and materials unit and building-technologies division, but the pace slackened from the second quarter. Washington Post, "Factory Slump Is Flyover Country at Honeywell," 17 Oct. 2019

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

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First Known Use of slacken

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

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Time Traveler for slacken

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for slacken

Cite this Entry

“Slacken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slacken. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for slacken

slacken

verb
How to pronounce slacken (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of slacken

: to become slower or less active : to slow down
: to make (something) slower or less active
: to become less tight or to make (something) less tight

slacken

verb
slack·​en | \ ˈsla-kən How to pronounce slacken (audio) \
slackened; slackening

Kids Definition of slacken

1 : to make slower or less energetic The wind slackened.
2 : to make less tight or firm She slackened the reins.

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Comments on slacken

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