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Definition of 'slack'

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  1. dust consisting of a mixture of small coal fragments and coal dust and dirt that sifts out when coal is passed over a sieve
  2. a noticeable deterioration in performance or quality; "the team went into a slump"; "a gradual slack in output"; "a drop-off in attendance"; "a falloff in quality"
       Synonyms: slump drop-off falloff falling off
  3. a stretch of water without current or movement; "suddenly they were in a slack and the water was motionless"
       Synonyms: slack water
  4. a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
       Synonyms: mire quagmire quag morass
  5. the condition of being loose (not taut); "he hadn't counted on the slackness of the rope"
       Synonyms: slackness
  6. a cord or rope or cable that is hanging loosely; "he took up the slack"


  1. avoid responsibilities and work, be idle
  2. be inattentive to, or neglect; "He slacks his attention"
  3. release tension on; "slack the rope"
  4. make less active or fast; "He slackened his pace as he got tired"; "Don't relax your efforts now"
       Synonyms: slacken slack up relax
  5. become slow or slower; "Production slowed"
       Synonyms: slow slow down slow up slacken
  6. make less active or intense
       Synonyms: slake abate
  7. become less in amount or intensity; "The storm abated"; "The rain let up after a few hours"
       Synonyms: abate let up slack off die away
  8. cause to heat and crumble by treatment with water; "slack lime"
       Synonyms: slake


  1. not tense or taut; "the old man's skin hung loose and grey"; "slack and wrinkled skin"; "slack sails"; "a slack rope"
       Synonyms: loose
  2. lacking in strength or firmness or resilience; "flaccid muscles"; "took his lax hand in hers"; "gave a limp handshake"; "a limp gesture as if waving away all desire to know" G.K.Chesterton; "a slack grip"
       Synonyms: flaccid lax limp
  3. flowing with little speed as e.g. at the turning of the tide; "slack water"
  4. lacking in rigor or strictness; "such lax and slipshod ways are no longer acceptable"; "lax in attending classes"; "slack in maintaining discipline"
       Synonyms: lax

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