slow

adjective
\ˈslō \

Definition of slow 

(Entry 1 of 3)

1a : mentally dull : stupid a slow student

b : naturally inert or sluggish

2a : lacking in readiness, promptness, or willingness

b : not hasty or precipitate was slow to anger

3a : moving, flowing, or proceeding without speed or at less than usual speed traffic was slow

b : exhibiting or marked by low speed he moved with slow deliberation

c : not acute a slow disease

d : low, gentle slow fire

4 : requiring a long time : gradual a slow recovery

5 : having qualities that hinder rapid progress or action a slow track

6a : registering behind or below what is correct the clock is slow

b : less than the time indicated by another method of reckoning

c : that is behind the time at a specified time or place

7a : lacking in life, animation, or gaiety : boring the first chapter is a bit slow

b : marked by reduced activity business was slow a slow news week

slow

adverb

Definition of slow (Entry 2 of 3)

: slowly

slow

verb
slowed; slowing; slows

Definition of slow (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

: to make slow or slower : slacken the speed of slow a car often used with down or up

intransitive verb

: to go or become slower production of new cars slowed sharply

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Other Words from slow

Adjective

slowish \ˈslō-​ish \ adjective
slowness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for slow

Verb

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

Slow vs. Slowly: Usage Guide

Adverb

Some commentators claim that careful writers avoid the adverb slow, in spite of the fact that it has had over four centuries of usage. have a continent forbearance till the speed of his rage goes slower — William Shakespeare In actual practice, slow and slowly are not used in quite the same way. Slow is almost always used with verbs that denote movement or action, and it regularly follows the verb it modifies. beans … are best cooked long and slow — Louise Prothro Slowly is used before the verb a sense of outrage, which slowly changed to shame — Paul Horgan and with participial adjectives. a slowly dawning awareness … of the problem Amer. Labor Slowly is used after verbs where slow might also be used burn slow or slowly and after verbs where slow would be unidiomatic. the leadership turned slowly toward bombing as a means of striking back — David Halberstam

Examples of slow in a Sentence

Adjective

The buyers were slow to act, and the house was sold to someone else. He was a quiet boy who seldom spoke, and some people thought he was a little slow. Business is slow during the summer. The first few chapters are slow, but after that it gets better.

Adverb

My computer is working slow. you need to go slow with this experiment, or you'll make mistakes

Verb

The car slowed and gradually came to a stop. The extra weight slowed the truck.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Josh Constine reports that the person running the would-be TikTok killer Lasso has left for Netflix, and also that Lasso is off to a slow start. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook has a growing morale problem," 15 Nov. 2018 In recent days, Syrian and Russian warplanes stepped up bombings, targeting the southern edge of the province and signaling a slow start to the campaign. Zeina Karam, Fox News, "Q&A: Idlib battle a climactic end to Syria rebellion?," 13 Sep. 2018 Because some of the mail-in ballots don’t arrive until very close to Election Day, this verification process can take place afterward and make tabulating the votes much, much slower. Li Zhou, Vox, "Democrat Kyrsten Sinema pulls ahead in Arizona Senate race," 9 Nov. 2018 Essentially, your smartphones and tablets will charge quickly, but a Macbook, for example, would move a lot slower. Brittney Morgan, House Beautiful, "This Is The Most Stylish Way To Store Your Chargers," 24 Oct. 2018 The slow, high-flying aircraft flew for up to nine hours at a time, with a single pilot guiding the plane, taking pictures of the ground below, and occasionally dodging surface-to-air missiles. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The CIA Gave U-2 Pilots a Special Diet So They Wouldn't Have To Poop," 18 Oct. 2018 The times change, but royal tradition changes slower. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "Here's Why the Royal Husbands Don't Have to Wear Wedding Bands," 13 Oct. 2018 Shutterstock Tapering growth leads to a new numbers game Less growth means a more challenging environment, and analysts predict a slow down on multiple fronts. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "The 10 top emerging trends that will shape real estate in 2019," 10 Oct. 2018 Following a slow August filled with exotic vacations, the British royals are heading back to work this fall. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Kate Middleton's Maternity Leave for Prince Louis Will Reportedly End in October," 4 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Given the position of its companion, this would bias dust formation to the slow-moving material. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Scientists spot two massive stars creating a pinwheel of dust," 20 Nov. 2018 White Rabbit is the perfect mystery to dive into during a slow-moving summer. Erin Nicole Celletti, Teen Vogue, "11 YA Books to Read Before Summer Ends," 7 Aug. 2018 However, Moore’s set started out slow and didn’t pick up much speed as the night progressed. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Best and worst of Summerfest Day 10: Kip Moore, Jonathan Davis of Korn, Phantogram & more," 7 July 2018 Although the crab season has started slow, this summer’s harvest numbers could still be decent. Scott Dance, baltimoresun.com, "After July Fourth crab feasts, an uncertain season for Maryland seafood industry," 6 July 2018 Portugal started slow in the last European Championship, going winless in group play and advancing to the knockout round as a third-place team. Kevin Baxter, latimes.com, "World Cup: Saturday's matchups," 29 June 2018 Connecticut started out incredibly slow, failing to rebound, struggling to get anything going offensively and watching as the Mystics capitalized on their problems. Kelli Stacy, courant.com, "Second Half Comeback Not Enough For Connecticut Sun; Washington Mystics Win, 95-91," 13 June 2018 The morning started off slow in DeKalb County as voters woke up early to vote in the Tuesday primary elections. Alaa Elassar, ajc, "Rainy weather, early voting impacting election turnout in DeKalb," 22 May 2018 The day started slow, picked up after halftime but couldn't get going when there was a shot to win the game. Michael Casagrande, AL.com, "Why it was a long afternoon for Jalen Hurts on Alabama A-Day," 21 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Those lower rates suggested that investors expect the U.S. economy to slow, along with global growth, and possibly fall into recession in the coming year or two. Christopher Rugaber, The Seattle Times, "White House intensifies confusion and fear on US-China deal," 5 Dec. 2018 Reports indicate that if anything, admissions at ports slowed down while the asylum ban was in effect. Dara Lind, Vox, "Mexico won’t let kids go to a US port. Trump doesn’t want to give them other options.," 21 Nov. 2018 Unlike in Silicon Valley, nationally, median and very-low-income earners have still seen some wage growth, even as the rate of that growth has slowed down in comparison to high income earners. Shirin Ghaffary, Recode, "Inequality in Silicon Valley is getting worse: Wages are down for everyone but the top 10 percent," 13 Oct. 2018 In the last 12 months, Ronda has slowed down her activity with A Closer Look. Serena Solomon, Woman's Day, "Breast Cancer Changed Ronda Carter's Life; Now, She's Doing the Same for Others," 24 Sep. 2018 Spinning wheels carry a lot of potential to generate power, even as a vehicle is slowing down. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Ram 1500 eTorque: Why the Electrified Pickup Truck Is Even Better," 19 Sep. 2018 OCCLUSIVES Thick moisturizing ingredients, such as petrolatum, that slow the evaporation of water from the skin's surface. Allure, "The Skin-Care Glossary: A Comprehensive Guide to Everything You Need to Know," 17 Aug. 2018 All-American the next two years, played in the 2012 Junior Ryder Cup team and landed at Texas A&M, where he was slowed by back injuries his first two years. Doug Ferguson, The Seattle Times, "Big attention for rookie Champ begins with small favor," 14 Nov. 2018 What's more, the path to coming up with better solutions for women is slowed down because no one wants to talk about it. Hannah Dylan Pasternak, SELF, "I Tried Free Bleeding in Period-Proof Running Shorts," 30 Oct. 2018

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

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adverb

15th century, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1557, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for slow

Adjective

Middle English, from Old English slāw; akin to Old High German slēo dull

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Statistics for slow

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slow

The first known use of slow was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for slow

slow

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of slow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

: not moving quickly : not able to move quickly

: not happening quickly : taking more time than is expected or wanted

: not operating quickly

slow

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of slow (Entry 2 of 3)

: in a slow way or at a low speed

slow

verb

English Language Learners Definition of slow (Entry 3 of 3)

: to begin to move at a lower speed

: to make (something, such as a car) move at a lower speed

: to become slower

slow

adjective
\ˈslō \
slower; slowest

Kids Definition of slow

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : moving, flowing, or going at less than the usual speed slow music Traffic was slow.

2 : taking more time than is expected or desired We had a slow start on the project.

3 : not as smart or as quick to understand as most people

4 : not active Business was slow.

5 : indicating less than is correct My watch is five minutes slow.

6 : not easily aroused or excited Grandmother is slow to anger.

Other Words from slow

slowly adverb
slowness noun

slow

verb
slowed; slowing

Kids Definition of slow (Entry 2 of 3)

: to go or make go less than the usual speed The car slowed around the corner. The heavy load slowed the wagon.

slow

adverb
slower; slowest

Kids Definition of slow (Entry 3 of 3)

: in a slow way Can you talk slower?

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More from Merriam-Webster on slow

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slow

Spanish Central: Translation of slow

Nglish: Translation of slow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on slow

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