- The definition of slack is someone or something weak, slow, relaxed or careless.
- An example of slack is an elastic waistband that has lost its elasticity.
- An example of slack is someone who takes twice as long to do a job as another.
- slow; idle; sluggish
- barely moving: said of a current, as of air or water
- characterized by little work, trade, or business; not busy or active; dull: a slack period
- loose; relaxed; not tight, taut, or firm
- easily changed or influenced; weak; lax
- careless or negligent: a slack workman
Origin of slackMiddle English slakke ; from Old English slæc, akin to Dutch slak ; from Indo-European base an unverified form (s)lēg-, loose, slack from source Classical Latin laxus, lax
- to make slack; slacken
- to slake
- to be or become slack; slacken
- to be idle, careless, or negligent
- a part that is slack or hangs loose
- a lack of tension or tautness; looseness
- a stoppage of movement in a current
- a dull period; lull
cut someone some slack
Origin of slackMiddle English sleck, akin to Flemish slecke, dross, Dutch slak: for Indo-European base see slay
- a small valley
- a bog; morass
Origin of slackMiddle English slak ; from Old Norse an unverified form slakki ; from Indo-European base an unverified form slēk, wet, sprinkle
- Not tense or taut; loose: a slack rope; slack muscles. See Synonyms at loose.
- a. Lacking in activity; not busy: a slack season for the travel business.b. Moving slowly; sluggish: a slack pace.
- Lacking in diligence or due care or concern; negligent: a slack worker. See Synonyms at negligent.
- Flowing or blowing with little speed: a slack current; slack winds.
- Linguistics Pronounced with the muscles of the tongue and jaw relatively relaxed; lax.
verbslacked, slack·ing, slacks
- a. To make looser or less taut: slacked the sail.b. To make slower: slacked our pace.
- To be careless or remiss in doing: slack one's duty.
- To slake (lime).
- To be or become slack.
- To be inactive or avoid work: slacked around the house all day.
- A loose part, as of a rope or sail: hauled in the slack.
- A period of little activity; a lull: a slack in business.
- a. A cessation of movement in a current of air or water.b. An area of still water.
- Unused capacity: still some slack in the economy.
- slacks Casual pants that are not part of a suit.
Origin of slackMiddle English slak, from Old English slæc; see slēg- in Indo-European roots.
Origin of slackMiddle English sleck.
- A small dell or hollow.
- A bog; a morass.
Origin of slackMiddle English slak, from Old Norse slakki.
(countable and uncountable, plural slacks)
(comparative slacker, superlative slackest)
- Lax; not tense; not hard drawn; not firmly extended.
- a slack rope
- Weak; not holding fast.
- a slack hand
- Remiss; backward; not using due diligence or care; not earnest or eager.
- slack in duty or service
- Not violent, rapid, or pressing.
- Business is slack.
- (slang, West Indies) vulgar; sexually explicit, especially in dancehall music
- slack dried hops
(third-person singular simple present slacks, present participle slacking, simple past and past participle slacked)
For sense of coal dust, compare slag.