\ ˈslāk How to pronounce slake (audio) , intransitive sense 2 & transitive sense 3 are also ˈslak \
slaked; slaking

Definition of slake

intransitive verb

1 archaic : subside, abate
2 : to become slaked : crumble lime may slake spontaneously in moist air

transitive verb

1 archaic : to lessen the force of : moderate
2 : satisfy, quench slake your thirst will slake your curiosity
3 : to cause (a substance, such as lime) to heat and crumble by treatment with water : hydrate

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Did You Know?

Slake is no slacker when it comes to obsolete and archaic meanings. Shakespearean scholars may know that in the Bard's day slake meant "to subside or abate ("No flood by raining slaketh. . . ." - The Rape of Lucrece) or "to lessen the force of " ("It could not slake mine ire, nor ease my heart." - Henry VI, Part 3). The most erudite word enthusiasts may also be aware of earlier meanings of "slake," such as "to slacken one's efforts" or "to cause to be relaxed or loose." These early meanings recall the word's Old English ancestor "sleac," which not only meant "slack" but is also the source of that modern term.

Examples of slake in a Sentence

trying to slake his curiosity a harrowing experience while mountain climbing has largely slaked my desire for high adventure
Recent Examples on the Web Utah and several nearby Rocky Mountain states sit in the upper reaches of the river system, which helps slake the thirst of Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Warren Cornwall, Science | AAAS, "Distant seas might predict Colorado River droughts," 16 Oct. 2020 The social internet sometimes seems to exist to slake our thirst for enchantment during our daily rounds. Virginia Heffernan, Wired, "The Fantasy of Pokémon Go Is More Important Than Ever," 22 Sep. 2020 Maybe that guy will build the fastest car on Earth, or design a new way to desalinate seawater to slake the world’s thirst, or find a way into space on his own. David Howard, Popular Mechanics, ""Mad Mike" Hughes Rejected Science and Chased Fame. It Killed Him.," 30 Aug. 2020 Joe Biden is unlikely to slake that particular thirst. Kevin D. Williamson, National Review, "LISTEN TO THIS ARTICLE," 29 Apr. 2020 Evergreens in particular need to have their thirst slaked before winter to minimize winter burn and freeze damage. Washington Post, "Your plants are parched. How you water makes all the difference.," 27 Sep. 2019 But in 2015, Pawar began signing papers with local officials in Cameroon for an enormous cannabis plantation, intended to slake the growing global demand for CBD oil. NBC News, "Pipe dream: The African cannabis empire that never was," 5 Dec. 2019 During the 26th edition of the Eversource Hartford Marathon on Saturday, more than 10,000 runners will combine to rack up an estimated 336 million steps — a slog that will require 9,400 gallons of water to slake the participants’ collective thirst. Chris Brodeur,, "Planning on attending the 2019 Eversource Hartford Marathon? Here’s everything you need to know," 9 Oct. 2019 Last spring, runners in the London Marathon were handed edible seaweed pouches at mile 23 containing a sports drink to slake their thirst. Laura Parker, National Geographic, "How the plastic bottle went from miracle container to hated garbage," 23 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slake.' 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 slake

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

History and Etymology for slake

Middle English, from Old English slacian, from sleac slack

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Time Traveler for slake

Time Traveler

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

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Last Updated

22 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for slake


How to pronounce slake (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of slake

literary : to provide, do, or have what is required by (something)


\ ˈslāk How to pronounce slake (audio) \
slaked; slaking

Kids Definition of slake

: quench sense 1 A drink of water slaked my thirst.

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