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slacken

[slak-uh n] /ˈslæk ən/
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
1570-1580
First recorded in 1570-80; slack1 + -en1
Related forms
unslackened, adjective
unslackening, adjective
Synonyms
1, 2. relax, loosen, slack, abate.
Antonyms
2. tighten, tense.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for slacken
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Nor did she slacken her pace as she drew near the house, she only ran more softly.

    Heather and Snow George MacDonald
  • The storm continued all day, but began to slacken in intensity at sunset.

    A Singer from the Sea Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr
  • Her death did not weaken my resolutions nor slacken my ardour.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete Madame La Marquise De Montespan
  • The yachtsman, however, should not slacken them as for scudding.

    Boys' Book of Model Boats Raymond Francis Yates
  • Nor had the horses any desire to slacken their headlong rush.

  • Plainly he wished the two riders to pass on, but he did not slacken his speed for a moment.

    The Wild Geese Stanley John Weyman
  • You must put your stick deep into the snow to slacken the speed and guide your sleigh.

    The Land of the Long Night Paul du Chaillu
  • Failing this, it should at least slacken the pace of its work and shorten its working day.

  • We were gaining on him still, and the heat of the day made him slacken his pace.

    Dross

    Henry Seton Merriman
British Dictionary definitions for slacken

slacken

/ˈslækən/
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
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Word Origin and History for slacken
v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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