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slacken

[slak-uh n]
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verb (used with or without object)
  1. to make or become less active, vigorous, intense, etc.
  2. to make or become looser or less taut.

Origin of slacken

First recorded in 1570–80; slack1 + -en1
Related formsun·slack·ened, adjectiveun·slack·en·ing, adjective

Synonyms

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1, 2. relax, loosen, slack, abate.

Antonyms

2. tighten, tense.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for slacken

slacken

verb (often foll by off)
  1. to make or become looser
  2. to make or become slower, less intense, etc
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 slacken

v.

early 15c., from slack (adj.) + -en (1). Related: Slackened; slackening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper