There are 2 definitions of slack in English:

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, flexibleflaccid, flabby, loose, sagging, saggy
  • 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.
    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

[with object] Back to top  
  • 1Loosen (something, especially a rope).
    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.
  • 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 offrelax, 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

Phrases

cut someone some slack

informal Allow someone some leeway in their conduct.
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

  • 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.
    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: kərf
noun
a slit made by cutting with a saw

There are 2 definitions of slack in English:

slack2

Syllabification: slack
Pronunciation: /
 
slak/

noun

  • Coal dust or small pieces of coal.
    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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