There are 2 definitions of slack in English:

slack1

Line breaks: slack
Pronunciation: /slak
 
/

adjective

  • 3Slow 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
    sluggish, slow, quiet, slow-moving, not busy, inactive, flat, depressed, stagnant
  • 3.1(Of business or trade) 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.
  • 4West Indian Lewd: the veteran king of slack chat
    More example sentences
    • Well, I'm in one of my moods to share a slack joke again!
    • We were in the Operating Room doing a case and in order to break the routine of work, we were relating a lot of slack jokes.
    • Despite all of this, he can still manage to laugh and share a slack joke with me, so he is in reasonably good spirits.
  • 4.1(Of a person, typically a woman) promiscuous.
  • 5(Of a tide) neither ebbing nor flowing: soon the water will become slack, and the tide will turn slack tides
    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 which 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: he put on a grey shirt and loose cotton slacks
    More 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.

verb

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  • 1 [with object] Loosen (something, especially a rope): slacking the outhaul allows you to adjust the sail
    More 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.
  • 3 [no object] British informal Work slowly or lazily: she ticked off 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 inactive, be lazy, be indolent, sit back and do nothing, waste time, lounge about
    British informal skive, bunk off
    North American informal goof off
  • 4 [with object] Slake (lime): 150 sacks of lime were slacked by the inrushing water

Phrases

cut someone some slack

informal Allow someone some leeway in their conduct: the press is willing to cut the President some slack because they like him
More 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

  • 1Improve 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: my partner held the rope ready to take up the slack as I climbed
    More 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

adverb
More 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

noun
More 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.

Origin

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

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Word of the day kerf
Pronunciation: kəːf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 2 definitions of slack in English:

slack2

Line breaks: slack
Pronunciation: /slak
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • Coal dust or small pieces of coal: the fire was stoked with a mixture of slack and cement
    More 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.

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