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

Will covering my hickey up with makeup slow down the healing process? Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Do Hickeys Hurt?," 3 May 2019 In 2006, the F-14 was retired in favor of the slower, cheaper Super Hornet. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "Why the F-14 Tomcat Is Such a Badass Plane," 3 May 2019 One effect of this parceling out was that reading the novel of adultery began to resemble committing adultery: the slow unfolding of a stranger’s character, the agonizing sense of being at the mercy of another’s whims. Daniel Mendelsohn, Town & Country, "How Infidelity Helped Create the Novel," 2 May 2019 The race started out much slower than Sellers had anticipated. Jenny Mccoy, SELF, "How Sarah Sellers Went From Surprise Podium Finisher at the Boston Marathon to Pro Athlete," 8 Apr. 2019 Here’s a conundrum for PC gamers: A recent Windows 10 patch solves some of the Spectre mitigation issues, increasing performance—but a new, separate issue means that your GPU and mouse performance may be slower than normal. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Recent Windows 10 patch brings good, bad performance news for PC gamers," 7 Mar. 2019 Play music, preferably without lyrics, that is slower than your heartbeat—about 72 beats per minute—or listen to a book on tape, though no thrillers. Colleen Leahey Mckeegan, Marie Claire, "How to Stay Sane While Struggling to Get Pregnant," 1 Oct. 2018 Some analysts have been lamenting slow growth in the smartphone segment. Samuel Axon, Ars Technica, "Services drove Apple’s best third quarter ever, but iPhone sales aren’t growing," 1 Aug. 2018 Mods like Quant and Boyd were anything but square; Americans were slower to embrace the youth revolution. Vogue, "1960s It Girl Pattie Boyd Talks Mary Quant," 5 Apr. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

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 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex drove off in a most dignified and regal manner, though their Jaguar looks good going slow, too. Thom Leavy, CBS News, "This car stole the show at the royal wedding," 21 May 2018 Though the story’s slow, measured pace is sometimes off-putting, this Wild Bunch release should steal some hearts beyond the director’s loyal following, particularly with festival support. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Shoplifters' ('Manbiki Kazoku'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 14 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Boeing has halted new MAX deliveries, which could slow the pace at which GE’s factories can ship engines for the plane. ... Thomas Gryta, WSJ, "GE Slows Cash Burn as It Shrinks," 30 Apr. 2019 Gigi Hadid has amassed quite a portfolio of bookings over the years, and the model doesn't appear to be slowing down any time soon. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gigi Hadid Is Now a McDonald's Influencer and Fans Are Shook," 15 Apr. 2019 Negative coverage could inspire a public backlash that could slow the introduction of Waymo's technology—and negative coverage is often the result of earlier media hype creating unrealistic expectations that are then disappointed. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "Waymo’s excruciatingly gradual launch process, explained," 31 Oct. 2018 And if more scooters are riding in the streets, that could slow down traffic and increase congestion. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Electric scooters’ sudden invasion of American cities, explained," 7 Sep. 2018 But a recent Supreme Court decision could slow their momentum. Jessica Militare, Glamour, "What's Next For America's Teacher Walkout Movement?," 27 Aug. 2018 With over 43 years in show business, Reba McEntire shows no signs of slowing down. Jason Ikeler, Good Housekeeping, "A Closer Look at Reba McEntire's Iconic Career," 19 Apr. 2019 And even as more and younger J-Pop groups emerge thanks in part to the road Perfume has helped pave, the group has no intention of slowing down. Claire Dodson, Teen Vogue, "Perfume on Being the First Female J-Pop Group Ever to Play Coachella," 19 Apr. 2019 Investors remain anxious about the slowing global economy. Alex Veiga, The Seattle Times, "S&P 500 posts biggest quarterly gain in a decade; Lyft soars," 31 Mar. 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

10 May 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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