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

Ideally located in the thriving South Valley, Eagle Ridge enjoys a slower pace of life that is still within commuting distance into Silicon Valley. Monica Lander, The Mercury News, "Sponsored: Thrive in the lifestyle of your dreams — soar to Eagle Ridge," 1 July 2019 The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller National Home Price Index rose 3.5 percent in April, its slowest annual pace since September 2012, according to an update Tuesday. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Home affordability study offers glimmer of hope to Denver buyers," 26 June 2019 Unfolding in a single night, writer-director Gary Dauberman’s directorial feature debut can be accused of delivering the same sort of slow-burn, medium-grade jolts in heavy rotation. Michael Phillips, chicagotribune.com, "‘Annabelle Comes Home’ review: Adventures in babysitting a devil doll," 25 June 2019 Data released Tuesday morning showed prices were growing at the slowest pace in seven years. R.a. Schuetz, Houston Chronicle, "Increase in Houston home prices expected after 13 months of slowing," 25 June 2019 Home prices are still rising, but at a slower pace. Lydia Depillis, CNN, "The rent is still too damn high and 2020 candidates finally want to do something about it," 25 June 2019 China’s electric vehicle market is still growing, though at a slower pace compared with previous years. Echo Huang, Quartz, "China’s ride-hailing giant wants to dominate electric-vehicle charging—so does one of its top backers," 24 June 2019 And while the unemployment rate remains low, hiring is on track to fall to its slowest pace since 2010. CBS News, "Why are stocks soaring while bonds signal gloom?," 21 June 2019 The planting season, overall, is at its slowest pace in 40 years. Carol Motsinger, Cincinnati.com, "Ohio's farmland is underwater and unrecognizable. The impact will last even longer than the rain," 19 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

In the Kursk sinking and subsequent accidents in Russia’s submarine fleet, the navy has been slow in acknowledging the gravity of emergencies or the scale of human loss or the environmental threat. Andrew E. Kramer, BostonGlobe.com, "Russian research submarine catches fire, killing 14," 2 July 2019 Though tourism was slow in the 1990s, the city has since developed larger hotels thanks to a gold- and diamond-mining boom, and out-of-towners go less remarked upon. Alexey Vasilyev, National Geographic, "How to celebrate summer in the world’s coldest city," 27 June 2019 Economic growth in the U.S. has been slow yet steady over the last year, boosted by healthy consumer spending and tax cuts. CBS News, "As Dems debate, facts about economy, taxes, health care, wages and more," 26 June 2019 But the city has been slow to carry out plans for such a transition. New York Times, "The Bug That Crashed New York’s Wireless Network," 24 June 2019 But the fruits of the recovery are still slow in trickling down to many Jamaicans, and many people have doubts. Washington Post, "Economic reggae: Jamaican bank sells recovery with songs," 18 June 2019 But building support for a single-payer health care system has been slow going. Abby Goodnough, BostonGlobe.com, "Activists on the doorstep have a plea: Will you support Medicare for All?," 15 June 2019 But the church program is not open to everyone, and the pace of preparation for new arrivals is slow, held up by the wait for final approvals. Maria Petrakis, latimes.com, "Wanted: People willing to live on a beautiful, remote Greek island," 6 June 2019 The storms will be slow moving, with potential for half an inch or more of rain. Author: Madeline Mcgee, Anchorage Daily News, "Thunderstorms likely to return to the Valley today after Monday flooding in Palmer," 4 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

More recently, the pace slowed and the futures of Intel and computing have appeared less tightly bound. Tom Simonite, WIRED, "Intel's New Chip Wizard Has a Plan to Bring Back the Magic," 3 July 2019 Earth’s spin would have been slowed in the process, with our planet being pushed slightly farther away from the sun to conserve angular momentum. Simon J. Lock, Scientific American, "When Earth and the Moon Were One," 2 July 2019 Pearce has been slowed this season by calf and lower back injuries. Alex Speier, BostonGlobe.com, "Red Sox first baseman Steve Pearce suffers setback," 2 July 2019 But egg production will slow over the coming weeks. Kim Pierce, Dallas News, "Shoppers love the small-town feel of this Frisco farmers market," 2 July 2019 Moreover, India’s economy is slowing, which will presumably make the government even warier than it otherwise would be of a trade war. The Economist, "India presents America with a choice between geopolitics and trade," 29 June 2019 The cold slows down ripening but doesn’t stop it altogether. Becca Miller, Good Housekeeping, "How to Ripen Peaches for Perfect Summer Fruit Every Time," 28 June 2019 That not only slows down the process of making a deepfake, but also makes the resulting deepfake more flawed and easier to detect. Siwei Lyu, The Conversation, "Detecting deepfakes by looking closely reveals a way to protect against them," 25 June 2019 Officials said fire activity slowed Sunday, as expected, as the flames hit sparser vegetation along the fire's eastern perimeter. Rocky Baier, azcentral, "Woodbury Fire 25% contained as crews work to protect property near Arizona highways," 23 June 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

5 Jul 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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