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

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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

Further Reading Elon Musk tweets video of SpaceX’s first broadband satellites in space The slow progress led Musk to fire some of the project's senior managers. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "SpaceX raising $500 million to help build satellite broadband network," 18 Dec. 2018 Talks on a code that would belatedly constrain such activities have made slow progress. Annabelle Liang, The Seattle Times, "China’s premier reassures region on growth, South China Sea," 13 Nov. 2018 Promises of slow, moderate progress are the only promises that can be kept by politicians. Jennifer Wright, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why You Need to Vote—Even If You Don't Want To," 3 Nov. 2018 These statistics, from a study of 64,000 employees and 279 companies in North America, are a sobering gauge of how frustratingly slow progress is toward gender equality in most companies. Kevin Sneader And, WSJ, "How to Overcome the Isolation of Women in the Workplace," 23 Oct. 2018 Fast charging is a standard feature on high-end smartphones, mitigating the slow progress of battery technology by allowing them to be refilled more quickly. Sam Byford, The Verge, "Oppo’s Super VOOC is the fastest fast charging we’ve ever seen," 10 Oct. 2018 The meeting between Seoul and Pyongyang comes as experts see slow progress on efforts to disarm North Korea since the Singapore summit. Youkyung Lee, Fox News, "Rival Koreas start talks meant to set up leaders' summit," 12 Aug. 2018 The first season struck me as at once too complicated and too slow to get to the point, but the performances, particularly Idris’, were strong. Ellen Gray, Philly.com, "TV picks: SharkFest, Sacha Baron Cohen, 'Suits' and more," 13 July 2018 These stumbling zombies are neither fast, nor slow, but all extremely dumb. Jason Zinoman, New York Times, "Review: In ‘The Night Eats the World,’ Zombie Apocalypse Now, Again," 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

And there’s no sign of these plummeting prices slowing down anytime soon. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Climate and energy news in 2018 actually wasn’t all bad," 1 Jan. 2019 While Harry may not have the opportunity to send out any more missives for a while—the royal family tends to limit their public correspondence to major dates like birthdays and weddings—his schedule won't be slowing down any time soon. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Sent Out the Sweetest Thank You Notes to His Birthday Well-Wishers," 4 Oct. 2018 But when that system slows down, which happens with age as well as inactivity, skin looks puffy and unhealthy, and things like eye bags and dark circles become that much worse. Kristin Perrotta, Harper's BAZAAR, "5 Skin-Improving Tricks to Include in Your Beauty Routine," 1 Oct. 2018 Others cited the less-than-ideal cell phone service on the beaches, which could slow efforts to reach emergency resonders. Michael Bartiromo, Fox News, "Shark attacks spark concern for Cape Cod beachgoers: 'They're eating our children'," 28 Sep. 2018 This year, hiring of teenagers got off to a strong start in May, although the pace slowed slightly in June compared with last year. Ann Carrns, New York Times, "The Virtues of a Summer Job," 13 July 2018 The rate-sensitive housing sector has slowed, though a recent drop in mortgage rates below 5% could help sales if rates hold near recent three-month lows. Nick Timiraos, WSJ, "Fed Set to Raise Rates, Signal Slower Pace of Increases," 19 Dec. 2018 That has slowed down my ability to consistently dole out damage, but mileage may vary for pro players. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Smash Bros. Ultimate review: The best fighting game on any Nintendo system," 6 Dec. 2018 Expansion has not slowed with President Donald Trump’s partial rollback of relations. Andrea Rodriguez, The Seattle Times, "Cuba to begin full internet access for mobile phones," 5 Dec. 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

4 Jan 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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