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 However, these exchanges are attempting to slacken their rules for these companies. Anat Alon-beck, Forbes, 25 May 2021 Even the capital of New Delhi is seeing whispers of improvement as infections slacken after weeks of tragedy and desperation playing out in overcrowded hospitals and crematoriums and on the streets. Star Tribune, 17 May 2021 For now, officials see no reason to tap the brakes by slowing down large-scale bond purchases or raising interest rates, policy changes that would slacken demand as an antidote to accelerating inflation. New York Times, 17 May 2021 My resolve soon began to slacken as burnout licked at the edges of my will. Kyle Meyaard-schaap, CNN, 30 Apr. 2021 Through tonight: Winds will slacken a good deal in the evening and become relatively light overnight. Washington Post, 23 Feb. 2021 At some point, consumer demand will slacken, manufacturers’ production will rise to meet the market, and there will be an equilibrium, however short-lived. Andrew Mckean, Outdoor Life, 5 Mar. 2021 Still, there's a tactile thrill to his visual set pieces (the custom gowns by Prada are deliriously gorgeous) and a headlong propulsion to the story that only begins to slacken in the film's rickety final third. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 19 Feb. 2021 Westerly winds slowly slacken somewhat, but early gusts around 25 mph are still possible. Washington Post, 25 Dec. 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

30 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slacken.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slacken. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for slacken

slacken

verb

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on slacken

Nglish: Translation of slacken for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slacken for Arabic Speakers

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