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

Kraft Heinz has been slower than many of its other traditional rivals to try and branch out into newer categories. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Kraft Heinz stock tumbles after its second-biggest investor sells a big chunk of its stock," 17 Sep. 2019 The river fishing around Northeast Ohio has been slow, but steelhead trout have already been spotted in the Rocky and Chagrin River. D'arcy Eagan, cleveland.com, "Lake Erie smallmouth bass biting around — where else? — the Bass Islands: Fishing Report for Sept. 13," 13 Sep. 2019 It’s hard to find a natural matchup for a player shorter than many wings and slower than many guards. Rob Mahoney, SI.com, "Top 100 NBA Players of 2020," 12 Sep. 2019 The display is clear, though Toyota’s touchscreen and voice recognition system are response are unintuitive and slower than the best competitors. Mark Phelan, Detroit Free Press, "Every car should be a little like the 2020 Toyota Corolla hybrid," 11 Sep. 2019 Its speed is far slower than other blind-thrust faults in the region, such as the blind-thrust fault that caused the Northridge quake, which moves at about 7 milimeters per year. Jonah Valdez, The Mercury News, "Fault below Los Angeles and Long Beach ports once thought to be inactive could cause destructive earthquakes, study says," 1 Sep. 2019 The Federer slice backhand, Evans explained, tends to tumble through the air slower than his other shots. Kurt Streeter, New York Times, "No Matter How You Slice It, a Stealthy Backhand Still Works," 1 Sep. 2019 Her handbags had waiting lists that moved slower than that of a top Manhattan kindergarten. Lisa Birnbach, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Return of Preppy Fashion," 27 Aug. 2019 The slow process neatly aligns with people who want to live more intentional lives. Tatum Dooley, Teen Vogue, "Santa Venetia Makes Tie Dyed and Purple Metallic Clogs," 22 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Both species are found in longer, slow-moving and deeper stretches of the river and are often overlooked as game fish due to their bottom feeding characteristics. Jim Gronaw, baltimoresun.com/maryland/carroll, "Gronaw: Finding the top-end bottom feeders," 15 Sep. 2019 Watching the state’s slow-moving financial train wreck is why my political leanings have ticked to the right. Kristen Mcqueary, chicagotribune.com, "Column: In deadbeat Illinois, where was Republican outrage over fiscal insanity?," 9 Sep. 2019 But the slow-moving Category-5 hurricane hovered over the islands and delivered an unexpected amount of rainfall. Gustavo Valdes And Pamela Boykoff, CNN, "220 dogs, 50 cats died in flooding at Bahamas animal shelter," 8 Sep. 2019 The Category 5 hurricane was both powerful and slow-moving. Tara Law, Time, "Here's What It's Like in the Bahamas After It Was Devastated by Hurricane Dorian," 5 Sep. 2019 Residents of coastal Florida, Georgia and South Carolina were preparing for Dorian’s approach on Wednesday, with the National Hurricane Center warning the slow-moving storm could make landfall in South or North Carolina on Thursday or Friday. Reuters, The Mercury News, "Food scarce as Bahamas dig out from Dorian’s wrath," 4 Sep. 2019 The slow-moving monster has devastated the Bahamas. Jennifer Brett, ajc, "Shelter dogs and cats in Dorian’s path come to Atlanta," 3 Sep. 2019 In the eighth inning, Gregorius hit a slow-rolling ball to the right side that went past Davis, who was playing off the line and just in front of the outfield grass, and into right field. Eduardo A. Encina, baltimoresun.com, "Fielding miscues glaring in another ugly Orioles loss, their seventh straight," 2 June 2018 Climate change can be attributed more to these steering currents becoming blocked or increasingly slow-moving, and that would then result in slower-moving hurricanes. NBC News, "Why is Hurricane Dorian moving so slowly?," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Scientists like Masic are keen to learn more about them in hopes of slowing or stopping that degradation. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "The secret to miraculous preservation of a Dead Sea Scroll could be salt coating," 11 Sep. 2019 The founder and creative director shows no signs of slowing down. Marina Liao, Marie Claire, "What I Wear to Work: Paige Adams-Geller, Founder and Creative Director of PAIGE," 12 Aug. 2019 Hedge funds’ net length in Brent crude-oil futures and options has been climbing steadily since early March, albeit with the pace slowing this month. Washington Post, "Oil Seems Remarkably Relaxed as Global Tensions Rise," 18 Sep. 2019 Upon returning through the upper atmosphere, the mission would generally begin with a 20-degree angle of attack, increasing to about 26 degrees lower in the atmosphere to minimize heating on the X-15 while also maximizing slowing the vehicle. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "What it was like to fly the baddest airplane the world has ever known," 16 Sep. 2019 Officials contend the vaccine has helped slow the spread of the deadly virus. Jon Cohen, Science | AAAS, "Congo arrests former health minister for alleged misuse of Ebola funds," 16 Sep. 2019 Oil prices have been relatively calm in recent weeks because of high production and slowing demand. Anchorage Daily News, "Crude prices jump after strikes halve Saudi output; Trump says U.S. to tap strategic reserves," 15 Sep. 2019 The pro-growth neighbors claim those pushing back on the plan are elitist and stuck in the past, that fast density will slow ever-increasing housing costs. Jamie Giellis, The Denver Post, "Jamie Giellis: As Denver asks residents near East Colfax to accept more density, residents should ask more of the city," 15 Sep. 2019 The worst thing about the game was that Maryland, despite its offense slowing down considerably, had ample opportunities to win the game late. Joan Niesen, SI.com, "Winners and Losers of Week 3 of the College Football Season," 15 Sep. 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

11 Oct 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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