Meaning of SLACK in English


I. ˈslak adjective

Etymology: Middle English slak, from Old English sleac; akin to Old High German slah slack, Latin laxus slack, loose, languēre to languish, Greek lagnos lustful and perhaps to Greek lēgein to stop

Date: before 12th century

1. : not using due diligence, care, or dispatch : negligent


a. : characterized by slowness, sluggishness, or lack of energy

a slack pace

b. : moderate in some quality ; especially : moderately warm

a slack oven

c. : blowing or flowing at low speed

the tide was slack


a. : not tight or taut

a slack rope

b. : lacking in usual or normal firmness and steadiness : weak

slack muscles

slack supervision

4. : wanting in activity : dull

a slack market

5. : lacking in completeness, finish, or perfection

a very slack piece of work

Synonyms: see negligent

• slack·ly adverb

• slack·ness noun

II. verb

Date: 13th century

intransitive verb

1. : to be or become slack

2. : to shirk or evade work or duty

transitive verb


a. : to be slack or negligent in performing or doing

b. : lessen , moderate

2. : to release tension on : loosen


a. : to cause to abate

b. : slake 3

III. noun

Date: 1756

1. : cessation in movement or flow

2. : a part of something that hangs loose without strain

take up the slack of a rope

3. : trousers especially for casual wear — usually used in plural

4. : a dull season or period


a. : a part that is available but not used

some slack in the budget

b. : a portion (as of labor or resources) that is required but lacking

hired a temp to take up the slack

6. : additional leeway or relief from pressure — usually used with cut

refused to cut me some slack on the schedule

IV. noun

Etymology: Middle English slak, from Old Norse slakki

Date: 14th century

dialect England : a pass between hills

V. noun

Etymology: earlier sleck, probably from Middle Dutch slacke, slecke slag

Date: 1729

: the finest screenings of coal produced at a mine unusable as fuel unless cleaned

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.