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take (or pick) up the slack

Definition of take or pick up the slack in English:

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.
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.
See parent entry: slack
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