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lax

[laks]
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adjective, lax·er, lax·est.
  1. not strict or severe; careless or negligent: lax morals; a lax attitude toward discipline.
  2. loose or slack; not tense, rigid, or firm: a lax rope; a lax handshake.
  3. not rigidly exact or precise; vague: lax ideas.
  4. open, loose, or not retentive, as diarrheal bowels.
  5. (of a person) having the bowels unusually loose or open.
  6. open or not compact; having a loosely cohering structure; porous: lax tissue; lax texture.
  7. Phonetics. (of a vowel) articulated with relatively relaxed tongue muscles.Compare tense1(def 4).

Origin of lax

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin laxus loose, slack, wide; akin to languēre to languish; cognate with Old English slæc slack1
Related formslax·ly, adverblax·ness, nouno·ver·lax, adjectiveo·ver·lax·ly, adverbo·ver·lax·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for laxly

Historical Examples

  • The others make an unfavourable impression because they are so laxly executed.

    The Clyde Mystery

    Andrew Lang

  • I was pleased, however, to see that I was so lightly and laxly guarded.

  • They held hands for a time, laxly, till one loosed, and then both swung limply back to their places.

  • In both cases we have a laxly articulated short sound, and a diphthong in which the tongue rises towards the end.

  • The word properly applies to Muhammadans only, but is often laxly used to include Hindoo ascetics.


British Dictionary definitions for laxly

lax

adjective
  1. lacking firmness; not strict
  2. lacking precision or definition
  3. not taut
  4. 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
  5. (of flower clusters) having loosely arranged parts
Derived Formslaxly, adverblaxity or laxness, noun

Word Origin

C14 (originally used with reference to the bowels): from Latin laxus loose
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for laxly

lax

n.

"salmon," from Old English leax (see lox).

lax

adj.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper