slacken

verb
slack·​en | \ ˈsla-kən How to pronounce slacken (audio) \
slackened; slackening\ ˈsla-​kᵊn-​iŋ How to pronounce slacken (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 Westerly winds slowly slacken somewhat, but early gusts around 25 mph are still possible. Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Snow showers could whiten the ground in spots today, with wind chills through tomorrow," 25 Dec. 2020 Recently, scientists released new observations about aging black holes, a special case in which the black holes appear to slacken and begin belching information back over the event horizon. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "New Experiment Utterly Alters What We Know About Black Holes," 14 Dec. 2020 Tonight: Skies generally clear out and northerly breezes slacken slowly but surely through the evening hours. A. Camden Walker, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Raindrops end this morning, then it gradually clears with breezy conditions," 30 Oct. 2020 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

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

Last Updated

31 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slacken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slacken. Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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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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