- 1Not taut or held tightly in position; loose: a slack rope her mouth went slackMore example sentences
loose, limp, not taut, not tight, hanging, flapping; relaxed, flexible, pliantflaccid, flabby, loose, sagging, saggy, drooping, droopy, softbaggy, loose-fitting, loose, not tight, generously cut, roomy; shapeless, sack-like, oversized, ill-fitting, bagging, hanging, flapping, saggy
- 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.
- 2Having or showing laziness or negligence: slack accounting proceduresMore example sentences
lax, negligent, neglectful, remiss, careless, slapdash, slipshod, lackadaisical, lazy, inefficient, incompetent, inattentive, offhand, casual, disorderly, disorganized; North American derelictBritish • vulgar slang half-arsed• formal delinquent• rare otiose, pococurante
- 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.
- 3Slow or sluggish: they were working at a slack paceMore 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.
- 3.1(Of business or trade) characterized by a lack of work or activity; quiet: business was rather slackMore 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 chatMore 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.
- 5(Of a tide) neither ebbing nor flowing: soon the water will become slack, and the tide will turn slack tidesMore 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.
nounBack to top
- 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 slackMore 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.
- 2 (slacks) Casual trousers: he put on a grey shirt and loose cotton slacksMore 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.
verbBack to top
- 1 [with object] Loosen (something, especially a rope): slacking the outhaul allows you to adjust the sailMore 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.
- 2Decrease or reduce in intensity, quantity, or speed: [no object]: the flow of blood slacked off [with object]: the horse slacked his paceMore example sentences
reduce, lessen, slacken, slow, ease up/offdecrease, lessen, subside, get less, let up, ease off, abate, moderate, diminish, dwindle, die down, fall off, drop off, taper off, ebb, recede, wanerelax, take things easy, let up, ease up/off, do less, loosen up, slow down, be less activeslow down, slow, decelerate, reduce speed, drop speed, put the brakes on
- 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.
- 3 [no object] British • informal Work slowly or lazily: she ticked off her girls if they were slackingMore 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?
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 himMore 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 slackMore example sentences
surplus, excess, residue, spare capacity
- 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.
- 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 climbedMore 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.
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- 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.
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- 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.
Old English slæc 'inclined to be lazy, unhurried', of Germanic origin; related to Latin laxus 'loose'.
- Coal dust or small pieces of coal: the fire was stoked with a mixture of slack and cementMore example sentences
- Previously, miners had been paid $0.39 per ton of large coal and $0.17 for riddled slack.
late Middle English: probably from Low German or Dutch.