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

Mods like Quant and Boyd were anything but square; Americans were slower to embrace the youth revolution. Vogue, "1960s It Girl Pattie Boyd Talks Mary Quant," 5 Apr. 2019 Our favorite thing about living on the road is slow travel. Alex Aronson, Redbook, "Travel Influencers Share Their Favorite Things About #VanLife," 29 Mar. 2019 The societal change and education that is the ultimate solution is slow to take place. Rob Harris, The Seattle Times, "PM May wants ‘swift action’ on racial abuse of England stars," 26 Mar. 2019 The deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria were an example of a secondary emergency — 64 people died in the initial phase of the disaster, and thousands more died as help was slow to arrive. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "Why disaster relief is so hard," 25 Mar. 2019 Feed with a slow-release general purpose fertilizer. Arricca Sansone, Country Living, "Annuals vs. Perennials: Everything You Need to Know," 1 Feb. 2019 Then, a slow, selective reintroduction of devices and apps, each one allowed back in the name of productivity and gratifying leisure. Alexander George, Popular Mechanics, "A Computer Scientist's Guide To Dumping the Needless Tech In Your Life," 25 Feb. 2019 Prepare this slow-cooker dinner in the morning to come home to a hearty bowl of this spicy chili. Woman's Day Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Slow Cooker Tex-Mex Chili," 30 Jan. 2019 This is the slow food crowd, artists of the earth whose goal is to treat these treasures with the utmost respect, preserving their purity by serving them in the simplest possible fashion. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "This Scarlet Prawn Is the Best Seafood You Can Eat," 30 Jan. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

But the company’s slow, steady, and quiet approach means the attention (and the pressure to produce) is arriving well after the foundation is in place. Sean O'kane, The Verge, "The all-electric Rivian R1T is a dream truck for adventurers," 26 Nov. 2018 Their clients wanted slow, steady funding schedules that would pay for their workers’ benefits over the years without gyrating every time the markets soured or interest rates spiked. Mary Williams Walsh, BostonGlobe.com, "Jeremy Gold, 75, actuary who warned of pension crisis," 14 July 2018 Alterboyz practices slow, patient improv while Wet Bus speeds through its set with quick wit, rapid physicality shifts, and bold scene initiations. Steve Heisler, Chicago Reader, "The two improv teams in Oh Hell Yeah demonstrate that timing is everything," 22 June 2018 Channel catfish - fair on worms and prepared baits; all other species slow. Tyler Mahoney, kansascity, "Fishing report: Prospects for area waters, plus tips on finding fishing Facebook groups," 30 May 2018 The Duke and Duchess of Sussex drove off in a most dignified and regal manner, though their Jaguar looks good going slow, too. Thom Leavy, CBS News, "This car stole the show at the royal wedding," 21 May 2018 Though the story’s slow, measured pace is sometimes off-putting, this Wild Bunch release should steal some hearts beyond the director’s loyal following, particularly with festival support. Deborah Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Shoplifters' ('Manbiki Kazoku'): Film Review | Cannes 2018," 14 May 2018 But with temperatures below freezing, currently in the mid-to-upper 20s, please take it slow, especially on side roads and sidewalks, many of which are snow covered. Dan Stillman, Washington Post, "D.C.-area forecast: Cold today with light snow tapering this morning, and then a welcome warming trend," 17 Jan. 2018 Accepting her self-invitation was quite a departure for Casey, who describes himself as slow-moving and deliberate. Brooke Porter Katz, Harper's BAZAAR, "Ellen Bennett & Casey Caplowe's Wedding Was Outside-The-Box in Every Way," 14 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

And the cold weather doesn't slow them down, either. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Everything to Know About 'Little People, Big World' Star Amy Roloff's Boyfriend Chris Marek," 2 Apr. 2019 After leading the Group of Seven in 2017 with growth of 3%, Canada’s economic expansion slowed to 1.8% last year and is... Kim Mackrael, WSJ, "Canada Unveils Billions in New Spending in Pre-Election Budget," 19 Mar. 2019 The combo of protein and fiber found in these little legumes helps slow down digestion, and therefore provides a more stable rise in blood sugar post-meal. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "How Healthy Is Chickpea Pasta? A Dietitian Weighs In on Nutrition and Weight-Loss Benefits," 25 Mar. 2019 The industry’s ongoing message, driven home hard by Nvidia itself, is that older graphics cards couldn’t perform ray calculations without slowing gaming frame rates to a crawl. Brad Chacos, PCWorld, "RTX on GTX: Nvidia is enabling ray tracing on some GeForce GTX graphics cards," 18 Mar. 2019 So far, studies show NACA can slow retinal degeneration in rodents. Caren Chesler, Popular Mechanics, "A Vision Quest," 6 Mar. 2019 On the mild end, an individual might develop an itchy mouth or hives; on the severe end is anaphylaxis, a condition in which the airways swell and the heartbeat slows. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Some Rx Bars Have Been Recalled Due to an Undeclared Allergen," 16 Jan. 2019 Should astronomers ever discover a pulsar orbiting a black hole, its regular signal could slow down in response to the latter's enormous mass, just as Einstein's theory predicts. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Jocelyn Bell Burnell wins $3 million prize for discovering pulsars," 6 Sep. 2018 Pregnancy can sometimes slow you down as a traveler, so just embrace it. Condé Nast Traveler, "Two Super-Travelers on Everywhere They Went While Pregnant," 5 Nov. 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

12 Apr 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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