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2017 Word of the Year

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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for slackening
Historical Examples
  • "I'm sorry, dear," he exclaimed, slackening his pace reluctantly.

    Changing Winds

    St. John G. Ervine
  • To keep the business from slackening, Andre-Louis prepared a new scenario every week.

    Scaramouche Rafael Sabatini
  • I had suffered too much; I wanted rest, woman's love, slackening off.

    Romance Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer
  • There was no sign of slackening speed and everything appeared to be all right.

    Cab and Caboose

    Kirk Munroe
  • After a time the animals seemed to him to be slackening their speed.

    The Pony Rider Boys in Texas

    Frank Gee Patchin
  • And sometimes it comes to us; but the absence of it is no reason for slackening our work.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture

    Alexander Maclaren
  • "Seventeen chapters are done," she answered, slackening her pace a little.

    Teddy: Her Book Anna Chapin Ray
  • He went up to him without an instant's slackening of his steady step.

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • And then, with the slackening of her vigilance, came the slackening of her entire mind.

    The Good Soldier Ford Madox Ford
  • In any event, there was no shifting of the helm, no slackening of speed.

British Dictionary definitions for slackening

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 slackening

slacken

v.

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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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