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

Search efforts were extremely slow because of the treacherous sea of reddish-brown mud that surged out when the mine tailings dam breached Friday afternoon. Peter Prengaman, The Seattle Times, "Searchers probe deep mud from Brazil dam breach; 65 dead," 29 Jan. 2019 All that careful counting and pawing through the register for change is slow. Town & Country, "Is This the End of Cash?," 28 Jan. 2019 Just like the tortoise and the hare, some babies get off to a fast start crawling soon after their first half birthday — while others take it slow and steady. Karla Walsh, Woman's Day, "When Do Babies Crawl? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 28 Jan. 2019 Despite its proximity to Costa Rica, Panama has been slow to embrace environmental sustainability. Julia Eskins, Vogue, "Why Panama is the Place to Go in 2019," 1 Jan. 2019 But the fact that Apple is still slow to update its computers to the latest and greatest internal specifications still remains concerning. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: Apple," 27 Dec. 2018 In reality, some docs have been slow to make this a regular part of their treatment. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "13 Things No One Tells You About Your First Gyno Visit," 13 Sep. 2018 On one hand, the resulting data leak can be as slow as 1 bit per minute, according to panelist John Hennessy, the famous microprocessor designer and now chairman of Alphabet. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Solving Spectre and Meltdown may ultimately require an entirely new type of processor," 21 Aug. 2018 Until it is cleared away, Europe’s great banking merger wave will be slow to get going. The Economist, "Why the euro zone hasn’t seen more cross-border bank mergers," 12 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Progress on the projects had been slow, a senior Barrick official told the media late last year. Jacquie Mcnish, WSJ, "Barrick Gold Retreats From Digital Reinvention," 6 Dec. 2018 The process of reuniting children with families had been slow going, the government claimed, due to the vetting process under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, Vox reported. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "'Eligible' Children Under 5 Have Been Reunited With their Families, Trump Administration Says," 12 July 2018 But talks in Brussels were notoriously slow, mostly because May's government could not - and still cannot - agree on what kind of future relationship Britain wants with Europe on trade, immigration, law, tariffs and border checks and security. Author: William Booth, Karla Adam, Anchorage Daily News, "Theresa May's government in disarray after shock resignation by Brexit minister," 9 July 2018 But talks in Brussels were notoriously slow, mostly because May’s government could not — and still cannot — agree on what kind of future relationship Britain wants with Europe on trade, immigration, law, tariffs and border checks and security. William Booth And Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Theresa May’s government in disarray after shock resignation by Brexit minister," 9 July 2018 Progress has been slow across the board, with top European leagues only getting their first ever female referee last September (in Germany); there are no female refereeing staff at this World Cup. Siobhan Morrin, Time, "Female Sports Reporters Are Blowing the Whistle on Sexist Behavior at the World Cup," 3 July 2018 Traffic was almost at a standstill in the immediate Boston area on I-93 South and appears to be slow all the way to the Quincy/Braintree/Weymouth area. Jaclyn Reiss, BostonGlobe.com, "These maps show where the worst Memorial Day traffic is in Mass. right now," 24 May 2018 Even Crowder, while better than many of his teammates, was a step slow guarding the best wings in the league. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The Celtics Are Built to Harrass LeBron James," 14 May 2018 The development of his character, and the characters around him, is slow over the series' early episodes. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "Mysteries abound in the new Michael C. Hall series ‘Safe’ on Netflix," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The prospect of additional stimulus from Beijing, and less focus on deleveraging—as Chinese authorities seek to cushion their slowing economy—have also helped strengthen investor appetite. Saumya Vaishampayan, WSJ, "China’s Developers Go on Borrowing Spree," 12 Feb. 2019 Florence made landfall in North Carolina near Wilmington as a hurricane, then slowed down to a sluggish 2 miles per hour. Umair Irfan, Vox, "What we learned from the disasters that hammered the US in 2018," 27 Dec. 2018 But soon after launch, Google tanked Foundem’s ranking, pushing results far past the first page and slowing usage to a trickle. Adi Robertson, The Verge, "The long, tortured quest to make Google unbiased," 6 Dec. 2018 Tourists flock to the Bahamas from spring to mid-summer, when island activity slows to a trickle thanks to the impending hurricane season. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "How to Vacation Like the Royal Family in the Bahamas," 30 Aug. 2018 Its stock has come under pressure recently amid renewed slowing sales-growth worries, with shares shedding 27% over the past three months. ... Francesca Fontana, WSJ, "Stocks to Watch: Apple, AMD, eBay, Amgen, GameStop, Square General Dynamics," 30 Jan. 2019 And a study published in the Journal of Ethnopharmacology in 2014 found that supplements of apigenin, a flavonoid found in celery, may have helped slow the progression of gastritis and gastric cancer—in gerbils, that is. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Surprise: Celery Juice Will Not Cure All of Your Health Issues," 25 Jan. 2019 The problem is that Moore’s Law, the axiom that transistors double over two years, has slowed, putting a premium on design. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "AMD announces 3rd-gen Ryzen and Radeon VII, beating Intel and Nvidia to 7nm," 9 Jan. 2019 From sprawling farmhouses to backyard barbecue ideas, Country Living offers soulful and spirited how-tos that embrace slowing down and living well. Country Living, "Contact the Editors and Get Help for Your Country Living Subscription," 4 Jan. 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

15 Feb 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 \
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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