There are 2 main definitions of slack in English:

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slack1

Syllabification: slack
Pronunciation: /slak
 
/

adjective

1Not taut or held tightly in position; loose: a slack rope her mouth went slack
More example sentences
  • I held the slack rope taut in various positions and Jim measured and recorded the segments' lengths.
  • In Compagnie Cahin Caha, director Gulko performs a near-calamitous off-balance act on the slack rope.
  • It took just one heave and one ho for the rope to go slack as my former self went head over heels into the pit.
Synonyms
loose, limp, hanging, flexible
flaccid, flabby, loose, sagging, saggy
2(Of business) characterized by a lack of work or activity; quiet: business was rather slack
More example sentences
  • But getting angry with himself for making this mistake was just as fruitless as brooding over the slack business owner.
  • If business is slack, plans for a new van are postponed.
  • Business was slack, unusual for that time of morning.
2.1Slow or sluggish: they were working at a slack pace
More example sentences
  • The industry is still swamped with capacity, and the slack economy has slowed demand.
  • I've been through this before, selling a house into a slack, sluggish market.
  • Though the pace is slack and the jokes are slim, the chemistry between Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson is as sparkly as ever.
Synonyms
2.2Having or showing laziness or negligence: slack accounting procedures
More example sentences
  • They say they have no idea when or how Beggs got into the country because of slack EU border controls.
  • He said his new department was slack and inefficient.
  • It can never be slack or lazy; I can never assume anyone will read it just because it's there.
Synonyms
3(Of a tide) neither ebbing nor flowing: soon the water will become slack, and the tide will turn
More example sentences
  • Enter too soon before, or too long after slack tide, and we will get blown off the reef and possibly end up in a very dangerous position.
  • Reeling the little Calcutta 400 quite quickly in the slack tide gave the eel just that little extra zip and fish attracting noise in the water.
  • There is plenty of time for storytelling as we wait for slack tide.

noun

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1The part of a rope or line that is not held taut; the loose or unused part: I picked up the rod and wound in the slack
More example sentences
  • But, as I rose and Pung pulled in the slack on the rope, I felt totally secure - far more confident than during my low viewpoint descent.
  • With the slack in the rope, she darted forward, and pinched the bulge in her teeth, and tugged, eliciting a scream from Spade.
  • A sport climber will keep falling until he is past the last quickdraw he's clipped into and all the slack in the rope is taut.
Synonyms
2 (slacks) Casual trousers.
Example sentences
  • Wear them with jeans, stylish dress slacks, drawstring pants, and cargo pants or shorts.
  • You can use a hanger with clamps or slide the slacks onto a trouser rod or regular hanger.
  • He wore a white cotton undershirt and blue slacks now; his eyes were bloodshot from obvious lack of sleep.
3 informal A spell of inactivity or laziness: he slept deeply, refreshed by a little slack in the daily routine
More example sentences
  • They deliberately built slack into middle managers' schedules.
Synonyms

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Loosen (something, especially a rope).
Example sentences
  • The rope would tighten and then slack and then tighten, jerking Darren while all the time cutting into his already tore up wrists.
1.1Reduce the intensity or speed of (something); slacken: the horse slacked his pace
More example sentences
  • The team hadn't played with the intensity needed to win, we'd slacked off, and it had almost cost us a loss to the Beavers of the west.
  • By slacking, you simply reduce the size of the pie that your parents will eventually divide equally.
  • Gradually, the wind speed slacks, skies clear and temperatures moderate.
Synonyms
decrease, subside, let up, ease off, abate, diminish, die down, fall off
relax, take things easy, let up, ease up/off, loosen up, slow down
informal hang loose, chill (out)
slow (down), decelerate, reduce speed
1.2 [no object] (slack off) Decrease in quantity or intensity: the flow of blood slacked off
More example sentences
  • This year he had to take a bunch of regular classes and he felt like he could slack off in all the courses.
  • Maybe your mom is afraid you will slack off in school.
  • I soon learned that I wasn't allowing myself time to slack off.
1.3 [no object] informal Work slowly or lazily: she reprimanded her girls if they were slacking
More example sentences
  • For the last two years, he has slowly slacked off and now doesn't give me anything!
  • Once I realized that I'd slacked myself past the point where that would be possible, I decided to shoot for running it next year.
  • My goodness Charlotte you have really been slacking these past few days, haven't you?
Synonyms
idle, shirk, be lazy, be indolent, waste time, lounge about
informal goof off
1.4 [no object] (slack up) Slow down: the animal doesn’t slack up until he reaches the trees
More example sentences
  • I also may end up slacking up after the first of the year, I'm taking 18 semester hours at college so my time may be limited.
  • It was gross, but he never complained and never slacked up.
  • When the rain started to slack up, she got into her car to head back home.
2Slake (lime).

adverb

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Loosely: their heads were hanging slack in attitudes of despair

Origin

Old English slæc 'inclined to be lazy, unhurried', of Germanic origin; related to Latin laxus 'loose'.

Phrases

cut someone some slack

1
informal Allow someone some leeway in their conduct.
Example sentences
  • Given that these folks have a cemetery in their backyard, however, I guess we can cut them some slack.
  • Should reporters cut General Clark some slack?
  • He adjusted my schedule and cut me some slack when I just wanted to enjoy a ride instead of a focused workout.

take (or pick) up the slack

2
1Use up a surplus or improve the use of resources to avoid an undesirable lull in business: as domestic demand starts to flag, foreign demand will help pick up the slack
More example sentences
  • This is how a humane company avoids lay-offs - we take up the slack when someone leaves or retires and keep the headcount slim.
  • When a participating company goes out of business, others pick up the slack.
  • That means we have to count on business investment to pick up the slack.
Synonyms
surplus, excess, residue, spare capacity
2Pull on the loose end or part of a rope in order to make it taut.
Example sentences
  • As soon as DC felt weight on the rope he anchored like any good cow horse will and took up the slack in the rope.
  • The Instructor gave her a slap on the rump and then proceeded to take up the slack on the rope.

Derivatives

slackly

1
adverb
Example sentences
  • An accompanying consideration was that Asian and African forms of literature may be only slackly comparable to those in the West.
  • He asked me with an impolite, almost impatient lilt, as he slackly sat himself upon a tree-stump, violin in hand, hand upon knee.
  • Both arms rested slackly at her sides, eyes widened, and she could just barely make out the outline of her assailant.

slackness

2
noun
Example sentences
  • Marshall, though, would not escape with slackness again, even if it wasn't quite so slapstick the second time round.
  • Any slackness on Sunday against Tyrone and we'll be punished severely for it.
  • We are putting pressure on ourselves and a bit of slackness seems to have crept into our defending at times.

Definition of slack in:

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There are 2 main definitions of slack in English:

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slack2

Syllabification: slack
Pronunciation: /slak
 
/

noun

Coal dust or small pieces of coal.
Example sentences
  • Previously, miners had been paid $0.39 per ton of large coal and $0.17 for riddled slack.

Origin

late Middle English: probably from Low German or Dutch.

Definition of slack in:

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