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

intransitive verb

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

transitive verb

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

Did you know?

Have no fear, the Word of the Day is here to slake your thirst for knowledge. The uses of slake are varied and fluid. Its most common meaning is synonymous with satisfy or quench—one can slake anything from curiosity to literal thirst. In chemistry, slake can mean "to cause a substance to heat and crumble by treatment with water," and is used specifically in the noun phrase slaked lime, which refers to a compound used in binding agents such as plaster and cement. The word has some obsolete meanings as well: in Shakespearean times, slake meant "to subside or abate" or "to lessen the force of." 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 slack’s source.

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 Absent that, the all-new 7th generation Mustang will slake most of your thirst for a Pony car experience. Josh Max, Forbes, 29 Mar. 2024 Normally, quicklime is slaked in water long before use in construction. Reuters, NBC News, 25 Mar. 2024 And oh, yes, local beer breweries such as UNION Craft and Peabody Heights breweries will be there to slake the folks’ collective thirst. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 23 Jan. 2024 Other issues, like border policy and immigration, have slaked Congress’ demand for partisan point scoring, allowing tax writers to move ahead without too much partisan squabbling. Tribune News Service, The Mercury News, 26 Jan. 2024 Since 2020, this demand has been slaked by the federal government’s pandemic relief money, but now these funds are running out. Mark Davidson, Fortune, 11 Aug. 2023 With access to water, future moon colonists could slake their thirst or break the molecules down into hydrogen (rocket fuel) and oxygen (good for rocket fuel or breathing). Matt Hrodey, Discover Magazine, 30 Aug. 2023 The warm weather of late spring and summer brings certain wines to mind — racy rosés to slake our thirst, for example. Dave McIntyre, Washington Post, 1 June 2023 The use of lime plaster dates back to around 10,000 to 12,000 BCE, and the manufacturing process typically involved the calcination of carbonate rocks like limestone to produce quicklime, which was then slaked to create portlandite. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, 19 Apr. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'slake.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from Old English slacian, from sleac slack

First Known Use

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

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


Dictionary Entries Near slake

Cite this Entry

“Slake.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


ˈslāk How to pronounce slake (audio)
 senses 3 & 4 are also  ˈslak
slaked; slaking
archaic : abate, moderate
: to relieve or satisfy with water or liquid : quench
slaked our thirst
: to become slaked
: to cause (lime) to heat and crumble by treatment with water

More from Merriam-Webster on slake

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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