slacken

Synonym Chooser

How is the word slacken distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of slacken are delay, detain, retard, and slow. While all these words mean "to cause to be late or behind in movement or progress," slacken suggests an easing up or relaxing of power or effort.

on hot days runners slacken their pace

Where would delay be a reasonable alternative to slacken?

Although the words delay and slacken have much in common, delay implies a holding back, usually by interference, from completion or arrival.

bad weather delayed our arrival

When is it sensible to use detain instead of slacken?

While in some cases nearly identical to slacken, detain implies a holding back beyond a reasonable or appointed time.

unexpected business had detained her

When would retard be a good substitute for slacken?

The synonyms retard and slacken are sometimes interchangeable, but retard suggests reduction of speed without actual stopping.

language barriers retarded their progress

How do slow and slacken relate to one another?

Both slow and slacken also imply a reduction of speed, slow often suggesting deliberate intention.

medication slowed the patient's heart rate

Thesaurus Entries Near slacken

Cite this Entry

“Slacken.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/slacken. Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

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