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Definition of the verb slacken

What does slacken mean as a doing word?

verb - inflections: slackened | slackening | slackens

  1. become slow or slower
  2. make less active or fast
    • example: He slackened his pace as he got tired
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonyms of slacken: relax / slack / slack up
    • more generic words: decrease / lessen / minify = make smaller
  3. become looser or slack
    • example: the rope slackened
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • more generic word: weaken = become weaker
  4. make slack as by lessening tension or firmness
    • syntax: the same syntax as for the sense 1
    • lexical domain: Change - verbs of size, temperature change, intensifying, etc.
    • synonym of slacken: remit
    • more generic words: loose / loosen = make loose or looser
    • more specific words: douse / dowse = slacken

Alternative definition of the verb slacken


  1. [intransitive] To gradually decrease in intensity or tautness; to become slack.
  2. [transitive] To make slack, less taut, or less intense.

Phrases with slacken

  1. slacken off
  2. to slacken

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for slacken

Click on a title to look inside that book (if available):

Google previewA Dictionary of Modern English Usage (2010)

The Classic First Edition by H. W. Fowler, David Crystal

Slacken is the ordinary word for to become slack, & for to make (or let become) slacker...

Google previewEncyclopedia of Television Shows, 1925 through 2010, 2d ed. (2008)

by Vincent Terrace

Dan Carter is Hawk's partner; Murray Slacken is the Assistant District Attorney; Ed Gorten is Hawk's superior; Sam Crown is Hawk's informant. Cast: Burt Reynolds ( John Hawk); Wayne Grice (Dan Carter); John Marley (Sam Crown); Bruce ...

Google previewEncyclopaedia Perthensis; or, Universal dictionary of Knowledge. [With] Supp (1816)

by Encyclopaedia Perthensis

dO* To Slacken Its* tight.— Slack all thy sails, and fear to come. Dryden. Had Ajax been employed, our slacken' d fails Had still at Aulis waited happy gales. Dryden. ». To relax ; to remit.— And makes the body to advance, retire, To turn or stop, ...

Google previewA Dictionary of English Etymology (1862)

remittere is explained by Andrews, to loosen, slacken, relax, and also to abate, decrease ; as slack by Richardson, relaxed, weakened, diminished. The sinking ...

Google previewFuldstaendigt Dansk og Engelsk haand-lexicon (1824)

udarbeidet efter de bedste og nyeste ordbøger by Christian Friderich Bay

to slacken, grow slack, flaggy or loote. (giere Vankerue paa et Skib –, naar de sidde for stive) to ease the Shrowds. Slaphed, Slackness, Looseness, Weakness. Slapning, Slackening, Unbending. Slappe, to slacken, loosen, unbend, ...

Google previewA Dictionary of English Synonymes and Synonymous Or Parallel Expressions Designed as a Practical Guide to Aptness and Variety of Phraseology (1891)

by Richard Soule


Google previewFuldstændigt dansk og engelsk haand-lexicon (1807)

by Christian Friderick Bay

to slacken , grow slack, flaggy or loose ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for slacken

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Usage statistics about slacken

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English from the later part of the 20th century, both spoken and written.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the verb slacken:


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Slacken Meaning

Video shows what slacken means. To gradually decrease in intensity or tautness, to become slack.. To make slack, less taut, or less intense.. To deprive of ...

Scrabble value of S1L1A1C3K5E1N1

The value of this 7-letter word is 13 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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