slow·​ly | \ ˈslō-lē How to pronounce slowly (audio) \

Definition of slowly

: in a slow manner : not quickly, fast, early, rashly, or readily

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Slow vs. Slowly: Usage Guide

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 slowly in a Sentence

Things are slowly getting better. walked slowly toward the ringing phone
Recent Examples on the Web Running Antique Sugar was tough during the first few months of the coronavirus, but slowly, the owners were adapting. Helen Wieffering, The Arizona Republic, "'TL;DR: Masks required': Phoenix vintage shop sign goes viral for mandating masks," 30 June 2020 As an official English translation of the law has not yet been released, reporters and others have been slowly piecing together important aspects of the law for English-speaking individuals. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Here's what we know so far about China's new 'national security' law for Hong Kong," 30 June 2020 Despite the fact that many states are slowly starting to reopen, many companies are still allowing—or even requiring—their employees to work from home amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Amanda Tarlton, USA TODAY, "13 things that will keep you focused and productive while working outside," 30 June 2020 The details about what this means emerge slowly in Mackintosh’s elliptical text, after 14-year-old Calla pulls a blue ticket from the machine. Wendy Smith, Washington Post, "In Sophie Mackintosh’s dystopian ‘Blue Ticket,’ a woman’s fate is determined by lottery," 30 June 2020 The incident happened as Yellowstone slowly reopens to visitors after shutting down on March 24 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "Woman 'Gored' by a Bison After Trying to Take Its Photo at Yellowstone National Park," 30 June 2020 Deaths and new infections are now declining, but slowly, and Britain lags behind its European neighbors in reopening society and the economy. Fox News, "Boris Johnson vows 'Rooseveltian approach' to UK coronavirus recovery, warns austerity would be 'mistake'," 29 June 2020 McGill begins by swelling slowly into an initial G, from silence. Alex Ross, The New Yorker, "Musicians and Composers Respond to a Chaotic Moment," 29 June 2020 Cars began slowly scooting by as dozens of sheep snacked on a massive mound of garbage off to the side. Brian Freedman, Travel + Leisure, "Going Home: A Chef’s Journey to the Culinary Soul of Egypt," 29 June 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slowly.' 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 slowly

13th century, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for slowly

Time Traveler

The first known use of slowly was in the 13th century

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Last Updated

3 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slowly.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for slowly


How to pronounce slowly (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of slowly

: in a slow way or at a low speed

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More from Merriam-Webster on slowly

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slowly

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slowly

Spanish Central: Translation of slowly

Nglish: Translation of slowly for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slowly for Arabic Speakers

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