Meaning of SLOW in English


I. slow 1 S2 W2 /sləʊ $ sloʊ/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative slower , superlative slowest )

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: slaw ]

1 . NOT QUICK not moving, being done, or happening quickly OPP quick , fast ⇨ slowly :

The car was travelling at a very slow speed.

a slow walker

The economy faces a year of slower growth.

Take a few deep, slow breaths.

2 . TAKING TOO LONG taking too long OPP fast :

Taylor was concerned at the slow progress of the investigations.

The legal system can be painfully slow (=much too slow) .

slow to do something

The wound was slow to heal.

3 . WITH DELAY [not before noun] if you are slow to do something, you do not do it as soon as you can or should

slow to do something

Farmers have been slow to exploit this market.

Their attitude was slow to change.

slow in doing something

He has been slow in announcing the name of his successor.

New ideas have been slow in coming.

4 . LONGER TIME taking a longer time than something similar OPP fast :

We got on the slow train (=one that stops at more stations) by mistake.

5 . BUSINESS if business or trade is slow, there are not many customers or not much is sold:

Business is often slow in the afternoon.

The company is experiencing slow sales.

6 . CLOCK [not before noun] if a clock or watch is slow, it is showing a time earlier than the correct time OPP fast

ten minutes/five minutes etc slow

The clock is about five minutes slow.

7 . NOT CLEVER not good or quick at understanding things:

Teaching assistants have time to help the slower pupils.

8 . slow on the uptake not quick to understand something new:

Sometimes Tim’s a little slow on the uptake.

9 . slow off the mark not quick enough at reacting to something

10 . do a slow burn American English informal to slowly get angry:

Tony fumbled the ball and I could see the coach doing a slow burn.

11 . slow handclap British English if a group of people give someone a slow handclap, they ↑ clap their hands slowly to show their disapproval

12 . a slow oven an ↑ oven that is at a low temperature

13 . PHOTOGRAPHY a slow film does not react to light very easily

—slowness noun [uncountable]

• • •


▪ slow not moving quickly or not doing something quickly:

I was always one of the slowest runners in my class.


My computer’s really slow compared to the ones at school.

▪ gradual happening, developing, or changing slowly over a long period of time:

a gradual rise in the Earth’s temperature


I’ve noticed a gradual improvement in his work.

▪ leisurely especially written moving or doing something slowly, especially because you are enjoying what you are doing and do not have to hurry:

a leisurely breakfast


They walked at a leisurely pace.

▪ unhurried especially written moving or doing something in a slow and calm way, without rushing at all:

She continued to listen, seeming relaxed and unhurried.


the doctor’s calm unhurried manner

▪ sluggish moving or reacting more slowly than usual, especially because of a loss of power or energy. Also used when business, sales, or the economy seem very slow:

The car seems rather sluggish going uphill.


The drink was making her sluggish.


the company’s sluggish performance this year


Sales have been sluggish.

▪ lethargic moving slowly, because you feel as if you have no energy and no interest in doing anything:

She woke up feeling heavy and lethargic.


His son seemed depressed and lethargic.

▪ languid literary slow and with very little energy or activity – used about people, actions, or periods of time:

She lifted her hand in a languid wave.


a long languid afternoon in the middle of summer


He was pale and had rather a languid air about him.

▪ glacial literary extremely slow – used especially about the speed at which something happens:

Things are changing, but at a glacial pace.

II. slow 2 S3 W2 BrE AmE ( also slow down/up ) verb [intransitive and transitive]

to become slower or to make something slower:

Her breathing slowed and she fell asleep.

Ian slowed up as he approached the traffic lights.

slow down phrasal verb

1 . to become slower or to make something slower:

Growth in sales has slowed down.

slow somebody/something ↔ down

The ice on the road slowed us down.

2 . to become less active or busy than you usually are:

It is important to slow down, rest, and eat sensibly.

III. slow 3 BrE AmE adverb ( comparative slower , superlative slowest ) informal


If you go slower, you’ll see much more.

⇨ ↑ go-slow

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.