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 slow (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 But the process has also been slow because the purple tomato, if approved, would be one of only a very few G.M.O. fruits or vegetables sold directly to consumers. New York Times, 20 July 2021 Advocates for tenants say the distribution of the money has been slow and that more time is needed to distribute it and repay landlords. The Salt Lake Tribune, 18 July 2021 The pace of hiring in Massachusetts has been slow since January, when employers added 37,900 jobs. BostonGlobe.com, 17 July 2021 But building trust is slow, and Delta is moving fast. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, 16 July 2021 In the midst of the 2-0 deficits, a large reason for the slow starts could’ve been attributed to unsustainable shooting from Dallas and Utah. Shane Young, Forbes, 4 July 2021 Even without two-time MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, the Milwaukee Bucks figured out a way to end their recent habit of slow starts. Steve Megargee, ajc, 2 July 2021 The Lynx and the Loons both were in full rebound from slow starts prior to Halfway 2021. Star Tribune, 2 July 2021 To eradicate his team’s slow starts, Kerr supplanted Wiseman in the starting lineup with Looney in late January. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, 29 June 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Yost, through spokeswoman Bethany McCorkle, said no one asked the attorney general to stall or slow-walk the House Bill 6 referendum – not Borges, not Householder and not Householder's chief of staff. Jessie Balmert, The Enquirer, 21 July 2021 The pace seemed slow compared with the competition, and many wondered why Blue Origin — its motto Gradatim Ferociter, or step by step ferociously — was taking so long to launch people. Marcia Dunn, Chron, 18 July 2021 Shoveler ducks fly slow and are easy to recognize with their shovel-like bill. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 18 July 2021 But the phosphine detection was a flicker of evidence, not definitive proof, and the flashy discovery transformed into a slow-burning debate as other scientists joined in. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, 18 July 2021 Many of these gentle slow-moving giants lived in the Indian River Lagoon, which serves as a winter home for the marine creatures that connects to the Atlantic Ocean. Ashley Strickland, CNN, 17 July 2021 As emergencies go, this has been a slow-developing one, according to internal city agency reports obtained by The New York Times. New York Times, 16 July 2021 Tell Me the Truth is a slow-boiling police procedural, combined with a suspenseful, and emotional, family drama. Ew Staff, EW.com, 14 July 2021 Bachman complements his fastball with a slow-spinning slider called a gyro-slider by some because of its low spin efficiency and late-breaking action, similar to a gryoball. Akeem Glaspie, The Indianapolis Star, 9 July 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Knowing the outcome doesn’t slow the forward propulsion of Montville’s account one bit. BostonGlobe.com, 9 July 2021 However, the vaccination rates in Ohio did not slow as much as in the rest of the country. Glenn Howatt, Star Tribune, 8 July 2021 Cockroaches Are Indestructible—And So Is Robinhood Fines and legal action won’t slow Robinhood down for two reasons: 1) the big money behind Robinhood, and 2) the willingly-clueless customers doing business with the brokerage. Ron Shevlin, Forbes, 6 July 2021 Rookie right-hander Matt Manning allowed nine runs in 3⅔ innings, and Cleveland didn't slow down against Detroit's bullpen. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 30 June 2021 Much more water than expected began flowing and did not slow down. Rob Nikolewski, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 June 2021 Putting it mildly, Young had the third-seeded Bucks skating all Wednesday night trying to defend him, but the New York Knicks and top-seeded Philadelphia 76ers didn't slow him down, either. Duane Rankin, The Arizona Republic, 26 June 2021 Maybe by Columbus Day, if things don’t slow down even more. Robert Gehrke, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 June 2021 But the pandemic didn’t slow down residents’ calls. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 June 2021

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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Time Traveler for slow

Time Traveler

The first known use of slow was before the 12th century

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Statistics for slow

Last Updated

23 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slow.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slow. Accessed 24 Jul. 2021.

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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?

More from Merriam-Webster on slow

Nglish: Translation of slow for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slow for Arabic Speakers

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