- not strict or severe; careless or negligent: lax morals; a lax attitude toward discipline.
- loose or slack; not tense, rigid, or firm: a lax rope; a lax handshake.
- not rigidly exact or precise; vague: lax ideas.
- open, loose, or not retentive, as diarrheal bowels.
- (of a person) having the bowels unusually loose or open.
- open or not compact; having a loosely cohering structure; porous: lax tissue; lax texture.
- Phonetics. (of a vowel) articulated with relatively relaxed tongue muscles.Compare tense1(def 4).
Origin of lax
Examples from the Web for lax
Conservatives have attacked the lax security under Obama, even straining to tie the threat to ISIS.Obama, the Coffee Salute, and the Dementia on the Right
September 25, 2014
In the age of the Internet and in our lax regulatory environment, there are more quacks than ever before.The Strange, True Tale of the Old-Timey Goat Testicle-Implanting 'Governor'
September 16, 2014
It is also quite easy to drive from California to Nevada, which also has lax gun laws.
If lax guns laws and more guns overall made people safer, the United States would be the safest place in the world.
Blame for the deaths fell on lax safety measures, which allowed the victims to get too near to the test site.Branson’s Galactic Obstacles: Tom Bower Puts a Damper on Virgin’s Space Flight Dreams
January 30, 2014
Their discipline was lax, and many of them had left their posts, and gone off into the town.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
We are lax, indeed, but possibly that is why we are so kind.Tiverton Tales
If any one imagines that this law is lax, let him keep its commandment one day.Essays, First Series
Ralph Waldo Emerson
"A little too lax, also, for the proprieties of English life," added Lady Vyner.Luttrell Of Arran
Charles James Lever
Their bodies were so lax that their short weekly promenade to the cemetery exhausted them.Sacrifice
Stephen French Whitman
- lacking firmness; not strict
- lacking precision or definition
- not taut
- phonetics (of a speech sound) pronounced with little muscular effort and consequently having relatively imprecise accuracy of articulation and little temporal duration. In English the vowel i in bit is lax
- (of flower clusters) having loosely arranged parts
Word Origin and History for lax
c.1400, "loose" (in reference to bowels), from Latin laxus "wide, loose, open," figuratively "loose, free, wide," from PIE root *(s)leg- "to be slack, be languid" (cf. Greek legein "to leave off, stop," lagos "hare," literally "with drooping ears," lagnos "lustful, lascivious," lagaros "slack, hollow, shrunken;" Latin languere "to be faint, weary," languidis "faint, weak, dull, sluggish, languid"). Of rules, discipline, etc., attested from mid-15c.
"salmon," from Old English leax (see lox).