- to become less active, intense, brisk, etc.: slackening trade
- to become less tense; loosen, as rope
Origin: from slack
- to reduce the intensity or severity of; retard; abate; moderate
- to reduce the tension of; relax; loosen: to slacken one's grip
- slackener noun
Used by arrangement with John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
tr. & intr.v. slack·ened, slack·en·ing, slack·ens
- To make or become slower; slow down: The runners slackened their pace. Air speed slackened.
- To make or become less tense, taut, or firm; loosen: I slackened the line to let the fish swim. The tension in the board room finally slackened.
- To make or become less vigorous, intense, or severe; ease: slacken discipline; afraid that morale might slacken.