slow

adjective
\ ˈslō \

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 \ adjective
slowness noun

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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

Tours start at $98 for 3.5 hours, and include safety training—and the pace can be as slow and feel as safe as driving a golf cart. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do, Eat, and See in Curaçao," 8 Jan. 2019 Such materials have molecular properties that cause them to flow like a liquid when a slow and gentle force is applied, but not when the force is strong and sudden. Roy Berendsohn, Popular Mechanics, "A Serious Ode To Silly Putty," 27 Dec. 2018 Based on the bestselling novel by Gillian Flynn, Sharp Objects is slow, disorienting, and sometimes even painful to watch. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2018: Our favorite shows and binges," 24 Dec. 2018 Despite there being a huge presence of NGOs throughout Malawi, many communities feel as though the response to climate change has been slow and reactive. Mélissa Godin, Teen Vogue, "Climate Change Is Creating a New Atmosphere of Gender Inequality for Women in Malawi," 20 Dec. 2018 Anal play should be pain-free, so take it slow and pile on the lube (or spit). Zoë Ligon, Allure, "9 Things You Need to Know Before You Have Anal," 5 Nov. 2018 The players can’t perform at the same level because they’re older, slower and in many cases, their bodies are ravaged by injuries. Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press, "Jamie: Could Big3 basketball league happen in other sports?," 13 July 2018 Taqueria Maya's expansion has been slow and subtle, but the owners' new restaurant makes a big statement. Benjy Egel, sacbee, "Taqueria Maya owners open Mexican restaurant with a millennial twist in railyard," 12 July 2018 Further Reading Elon Musk tweets video of SpaceX’s first broadband satellites in space The slow progress led Musk to fire some of the project's senior managers. Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica, "SpaceX raising $500 million to help build satellite broadband network," 18 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Progress on the projects had been slow, a senior Barrick official told the media late last year. Jacquie Mcnish, WSJ, "Barrick Gold Retreats From Digital Reinvention," 6 Dec. 2018 The process of reuniting children with families had been slow going, the government claimed, due to the vetting process under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, Vox reported. Sarah Gray, Fortune, "'Eligible' Children Under 5 Have Been Reunited With their Families, Trump Administration Says," 12 July 2018 But talks in Brussels were notoriously slow, mostly because May's government could not - and still cannot - agree on what kind of future relationship Britain wants with Europe on trade, immigration, law, tariffs and border checks and security. Author: William Booth, Karla Adam, Anchorage Daily News, "Theresa May's government in disarray after shock resignation by Brexit minister," 9 July 2018 But talks in Brussels were notoriously slow, mostly because May’s government could not — and still cannot — agree on what kind of future relationship Britain wants with Europe on trade, immigration, law, tariffs and border checks and security. William Booth And Karla Adam, Washington Post, "Theresa May’s government in disarray after shock resignation by Brexit minister," 9 July 2018 Progress has been slow across the board, with top European leagues only getting their first ever female referee last September (in Germany); there are no female refereeing staff at this World Cup. Siobhan Morrin, Time, "Female Sports Reporters Are Blowing the Whistle on Sexist Behavior at the World Cup," 3 July 2018 Traffic was almost at a standstill in the immediate Boston area on I-93 South and appears to be slow all the way to the Quincy/Braintree/Weymouth area. Jaclyn Reiss, BostonGlobe.com, "These maps show where the worst Memorial Day traffic is in Mass. right now," 24 May 2018 Even Crowder, while better than many of his teammates, was a step slow guarding the best wings in the league. Andrew Sharp, SI.com, "The Celtics Are Built to Harrass LeBron James," 14 May 2018 The development of his character, and the characters around him, is slow over the series' early episodes. Lorraine Ali, latimes.com, "Mysteries abound in the new Michael C. Hall series ‘Safe’ on Netflix," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The problem lies with a slowing economy, and clients do not have enough idle money to buy cars as a result. Trefor Moss, WSJ, "Global Auto Makers Dented as China Car Sales Fall for First Time in Decades," 14 Jan. 2019 Beyond what’s already in your closet, help slow down the fast-fashion train by buying less and buying thoughtfully. Opt for secondhand clothes instead of new ones, and be discerning about labels. Tabor Wordelman, Teen Vogue, "Your Yoga Pants Are Polluting the Water You Drink," 19 Dec. 2018 Investors’ faith has been eroded by slowing growth and a trade war with China, as well as a steady stream of revelations about privacy lapses, security issues and mismanagement. Casey Newton, The Verge, "A majority of Americans don’t think social networks are good for the world," 21 Nov. 2018 Most were elated–but not surprised– to discover that Joanna, who is the mother of five including a five-month-old baby boy, had no plans of slowing down. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "Joanna Gaines’ New Book 'Homebody' Reminds Us Why There’s No Place Like Home," 8 Nov. 2018 In those same markets, home sales have been falling, and the pace at which home prices are rising has started to slow down. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "As housing market cools, home flipping shows signs of decline," 5 Nov. 2018 The leader’s communist regime is facing a range of challenges — an ongoing trade war with the U.S., a slowing domestic economy and a public health scandal involving thousands of defective vaccines being given to children. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Is China's Xi Jinping's authority over his country diminishing?," 5 Aug. 2018 Kansas State’s Bill Snyder continues to amaze, with the 78-year-old coach showing no signs of slowing down. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Steady Kansas State is No. 44 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 14 July 2018 Using lab tools to activate that reward circuit in mice, scientists discovered that its chemical signals reach the immune system, empowering a subset of bone marrow cells to slow the growth of tumors. Esther Landhuis, Scientific American, "Could Brain Stimulation Slow Cancer?," 13 July 2018

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

18 Jan 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 \
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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