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 slow (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 Sydney experiences a very slow rate of sea level rise: less than 1 millimeter/year, according to a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration analysis. Nayeli Lomeli, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Photos show no change in sea level over 99 years but don't disprove climate change," 23 Apr. 2021 So First Cow is, in part, a slow-motion heist movie, with Cookie and King-Lu sneaking out just enough liquid gold from the sacred udder to maintain a booming biscuit business. Darren Franich, EW.com, "Nominated for Nothing: First Cow’s West was too wild for the Academy," 20 Apr. 2021 The moves amount to a slow-motion accounting for a producer who over the years has been the subject of intra-industry accounts of aggressive behavior, particularly involving his assistants. Washington Post, "Scott Rudin, one of Hollywood’s most powerful producers, says he is ‘stepping back’ from film and streaming in wake of abuse allegations," 20 Apr. 2021 From his rapid rise in the majors to his slow-motion fall after elbow and shoulder injuries, and from being non-tendered to throwing a near perfect game in last week’s no-hitter, Rodón’s short career has been a study in contrasts. Paul Sullivan, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Despite some early issues, here are 12 things we like about the start of the Cubs and White Sox seasons," 19 Apr. 2021 In Germany, Poland and other countries in the 27-member European Union, vaccination programs are finally ramping up after a very slow start in the first three months of the year due to delivery shortages. NBC News, "Covid cases, deaths surging around the world as variants spread, vaccination lags," 9 Apr. 2021 Vladimir Putin’s intended strategy to dispose of his most outspoken foe seems evident: slow-motion assassination. Kyle Smith, National Review, "The Bravest Man on Earth," 7 Apr. 2021 His Twitter feed includes a steady stream of slow-motion videos showing the 78-year-old striding purposefully from one place to another. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "Slo-mo videos and early 'lids': How the White House protects America's oldest president," 3 Apr. 2021 In their own way, each has shown the burden of being a bystander to a violent, slow-motion death, and the crippling self-doubt that followed. New York Times, "‘I Was Failing’: Bystanders Carry Guilt From Watching George Floyd Die," 3 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Any slow-moving storm will have the potential to bring quite a bit of rainfall. Daniel Manzo, ABC News, "Millions under threat for tornadoes, severe weather this weekend," 24 Apr. 2021 Officers stopped the slow-moving car and immediately observed that the driver, a Cleveland woman, 35, was disoriented. cleveland, "Drunk driver crashes in front of police station: Shaker Heights Police Blotter," 23 Apr. 2021 The deputy shot 33-year-old Laudemar Arboleda nine times during a slow-moving car chase. NBC News, "Deputy accused of fatally shooting Black man in busy California intersection," 23 Apr. 2021 Peraica said the children’s deaths were an unfortunate byproduct of a slow-moving eviction process involving the coach house tenants. Cecilia Reyes, chicagotribune.com, "42 fires, 61 deaths: A story of failed city oversight," 23 Apr. 2021 And every time a slow-moving particle approached from the right, the demon let it into the left-hand compartment. Quanta Magazine, "How Maxwell’s Demon Continues to Startle Scientists," 22 Apr. 2021 The deputy shot 33-year-old Laudemar Arboleda nine times during a slow-moving car chase. Juliet Williams, Star Tribune, "Video: California deputy shoots Black man within a minute," 22 Apr. 2021 The massive outbreak has been blamed on more contagious variants of the virus, as well as an early relaxation of restrictions and a slow-moving vaccination campaign. Washington Post, "Covid-19 live updates India announces most daily new infections in history of the pandemic with nearly 315,000," 22 Apr. 2021 These aquatic plants, whose magnificent blooms come in shades of pink, yellow and white, are often seen floating languidly on the surface of ponds, marshes and other slow-moving bodies of water. Jennifer Nalewicki, Smithsonian Magazine, "Around the World in Eight Plants," 20 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The counties are being moved to extreme risk Friday in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus. oregonlive, "Dozens of Oregon county leaders slam Gov. Brown for shutting down indoor dining," 30 Apr. 2021 In an effort to try and slow the spread of the pandemic in Germany, restaurants and bars are closed for indoor dining, nonessential travel is discouraged and much nonfood and nonpharmacy retail is restricted. David Rising, Star Tribune, "German government raises 2021 economic growth forecast," 27 Apr. 2021 President Joe Biden spent his first 100 days in office encouraging Americans to mask up and stay home to slow the spread of the coronavirus. BostonGlobe.com, "CDC expected to unveil new guidance on wearing masks outdoors," 27 Apr. 2021 In March 2020, as businesses across the world sent non-essential workers home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, a 2.6 million-sq.-ft. Edward Felsenthal, Time, "Every Company is a Tech Company Now. The Disruption is Just Beginning," 27 Apr. 2021 Last spring, many businesses abruptly switched to remote events after lockdown orders and restrictions were put in place to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "Companies Say They Are Better Prepared to Host Virtual Annual Meetings This Year," 26 Apr. 2021 The state limited the capacity of indoor worship services last April in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Audrey Conklin, Fox News, "New Mexico restores indoor worship services to 100% capacity," 24 Apr. 2021 At the time, public health efforts were focused on testing and tracing infected individuals to slow the spread of COVID-19. Megan Cerullo, CBS News, "Another boon from vaccinating millions of Americans: Jobs," 23 Apr. 2021 All this is happening amid a pandemic in which policymakers have sought to regulate migration to slow the spread. W. James Antle Iii, Washington Examiner, "The Biden immigration muddle," 22 Apr. 2021

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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Time Traveler for slow

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for slow

Last Updated

30 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slow. Accessed 10 May. 2021.

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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

Nglish: Translation of slow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slow for Arabic Speakers

Comments on slow

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