1

slow

play
adjective \ ˈslō \

Definition of slow

1 a :mentally dull :stupid
  • a slow student
b :naturally inert or sluggish
2 a :lacking in readiness, promptness, or willingness
b :not hasty or precipitate
  • was slow to anger
3 a :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
6 a :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
7 a :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

slowish

play \ˈslō-ish\ adjective

slowness

noun

Examples of slow in a Sentence

  1. The buyers were slow to act, and the house was sold to someone else.

  2. He was a quiet boy who seldom spoke, and some people thought he was a little slow.

  3. Business is slow during the summer.

  4. The first few chapters are slow, but after that it gets better.

Recent Examples of slow from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of slow

Middle English, from Old English slāw; akin to Old High German slēo dull


2

slow

adverb

Definition of slow

slow vs. slowly

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

  1. My computer is working slow.

  2. you need to go slow with this experiment, or you'll make mistakes

Recent Examples of slow from the Web

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.

First Known Use of slow

15th century


3

slow

verb

Definition of slow

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

Examples of slow in a Sentence

  1. The car slowed and gradually came to a stop.

  2. The extra weight slowed the truck.

Recent Examples of slow from the Web

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.

First Known Use of slow

1557

Synonym Discussion of slow

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 Defined for English Language Learners

slow

play
adjective

Definition of slow for English Language Learners

  • : not moving quickly : not able to move quickly

  • : not happening quickly : taking more time than is expected or wanted

  • : not operating quickly


slow

adverb

Definition of slow for English Language Learners

  • : in a slow way or at a low speed


slow

verb

Definition of slow for English Language Learners

  • : to begin to move at a lower speed

  • : to make (something, such as a car) move at a lower speed

  • : to become slower


SLOW Defined for Kids

1

slow

play
adjective \ ˈslō \

Definition of slow for Students

slower; slowest
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.

slowly

adverb

slowness

noun

2

slow

verb

Definition of slow for Students

slowed; slowing
:to go or make go less than the usual speed
  • The car slowed around the corner.
The heavy load slowed the wagon.

Headscratcher for slow

You can slow up and you can slow down. Either way, you're doing the same thing: you're going slower.


3

slow

adverb

Definition of slow for Students

slower; slowest
:in a slow way
  • Can you talk slower?


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