slow

adjective
\ ˈslō How to pronounce slow (audio) \

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 How to pronounce slowish (audio) \ 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

If the world is going to end it’s going to be slow and painful over millions of years, rather than some cataclysmic moment. Elena Nicolaou, refinery29.com, "How The Cast & Creators Of Good Omens Think The World Will End," 5 June 2019 Holding a nine-game lead in the American League West and a 40-20 record entering Monday's opener against the Mariners offers opportunity for a slower pace. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros see progress from George Springer, José Altuve, Aledmys Díaz," 4 June 2019 Funding through the traditional three-year rate making schedule is too slow. Rachelle Chong, The Mercury News, "Opinion: Don’t let PG&E leave communities in the dark," 4 June 2019 The department has been slow to renew cyber charters, which are granted as five-year operating agreements. Maddie Hanna, https://www.inquirer.com, "Pa. charter-school students lag in math, with cyber results ‘overwhelmingly negative,’ study says," 4 June 2019 It is designed to fill seats during the slow travel period after summer vacation season and before the busy year-end holiday and school break travel rush. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "Southwest three-day sale: Fares starting at $49 one way," 4 June 2019 It’s unclear if this new route to Fort Lauderdale is a trial run into a new market or simply an effort to maximize use of its aircraft on days that are slow for business travel. Susan Glaser, cleveland.com, "Southwest Airlines adds limited, holiday flights between Cleveland and Fort Lauderdale," 3 June 2019 Lea said the parade was meant to take place during a slow spot in the city’s busy celebration calendar between The Essence Festival, which takes place July 5 to 7 and the White Linen Night art celebration comes on Aug. 3. Doug Maccash, nola.com, "Mayor Cantrell won’t permit Nyx summertime Mardi Gras parade," 3 June 2019 But hey, hopefully the slow pace of Anthem updates means BioWare’s made some changes to the crunch culture over there. Hayden Dingman, PCWorld, "This week in games: A first look at Vampire: The Masquerade 2 (sort-of) and Overwatch's new script editor," 22 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Further Reading It’s really real: Apple unveils the all-new Mac Pro Apple hopes the initiative will rejuvenate a slow-moving Mac app store and native software ecosystem. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Apple shares its vision for macOS 10.15 Catalina: Cross-platform apps are key," 3 June 2019 The prescription: slash marketing costs, reduce the number of model variations, perhaps get rid of slow-selling products, especially passenger cars. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "CEO Jim Hackett pushing future for Ford team as investors watch with caution," 26 Jan. 2018 There’s nothing more aggravating to an Aries than procrastination and slow-moving plans. Alice Bell, Vogue, "What Astrology Tells Us About Martin Margiela’s and Marc Jacobs’s Shared Birthday," 9 Apr. 2019 The slow-moving revival of Asbury Park—known best as Bruce Springsteen’s early stomping grounds—had stalled. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Developer Counts on Selling $6 Million Condos in Asbury Park, N.J.," 26 Mar. 2019 But the company’s slow, steady, and quiet approach means the attention (and the pressure to produce) is arriving well after the foundation is in place. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The all-electric Rivian R1T is a dream truck for adventurers," 26 Nov. 2018 Their clients wanted slow, steady funding schedules that would pay for their workers’ benefits over the years without gyrating every time the markets soured or interest rates spiked. Mary Williams Walsh, BostonGlobe.com, "Jeremy Gold, 75, actuary who warned of pension crisis," 14 July 2018 Alterboyz practices slow, patient improv while Wet Bus speeds through its set with quick wit, rapid physicality shifts, and bold scene initiations. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "The two improv teams in Oh Hell Yeah demonstrate that timing is everything," 22 June 2018 Channel catfish - fair on worms and prepared baits; all other species slow. Tyler Mahoney, kansascity, "Fishing report: Prospects for area waters, plus tips on finding fishing Facebook groups," 30 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Among its functions, somatostatin inhibits production of insulin and growth hormone, and slows digestion. San Diego Union-Tribune, "How old are your organs? Salk, UCSD mouse study finds human clues," 6 June 2019 Miller has no intention, quite vital in his late 80s, of slowing down. Rick Kogan, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago roundtable lets Big Ideas be shared the old-fashioned way, face to face," 5 June 2019 This time, the economy has already been weakened by China’s slowing demand for its goods. Ben Dooley, New York Times, "Modern Monetary Theory’s Reluctant Poster Child: Japan," 5 June 2019 Esperanza has a deformed front paw, which doesn't really slow her down. Joy Sewing, Houston Chronicle, "These Harris County animals will be euthanize if not adopted, fostered," 5 June 2019 The business stands to take a hit if the tariffs, starting at 5% and rising as high as 25%, take effect on a Monday deadline Trump has given Mexico for slowing irregular migration through its territory. Washington Post, "US tariffs looming, many in Mexico back president’s approach," 5 June 2019 The goal: cut through a bureaucratic morass that slowed projects for months — sometimes years. Rachel Swan, SFChronicle.com, "City speeds up approval process for new bike lanes, road safety improvements," 5 June 2019 Even with the show's controversial ending, the books' popularity shows no sign of slowing down. Mary Cadden, USA TODAY, "'Game of Thrones' book series reaches new heights on best-seller list," 4 June 2019 Brady shows little sign of slowing down thanks to his rigorous training schedule and nutrition program. Rob Maaddi, The Seattle Times, "Still no slowing down the Patriots’ dynasty," 4 Feb. 2019

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

7 Jun 2019

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 How to pronounce slow (audio) \
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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