Spencer had surveying and measuring, drawing and calculating to do, and he threw off the slackness which marked his school-days.
If they want story they may complain of slackness and deviations.
He raised the string and from slackness it became taut with the heft of lead.
I had long been under reproach for my slackness in this matter.
Owing to the slackness of our Allies, these enterprises proved unexpectedly difficult.
If I were as much better a man than you, as I am worse, you should soon rue your slackness.
Strange to say, it is the slackness of business that usually sends folks away.
I'll not have this levity and slackness, and talk about pictures and churches.
Complaints of waste in supply departments and of slackness of discipline among the troops were rife in the early months.
Was there a hint of slackness in the jaw of this good-looking boy?
Old English slæc "remiss, lax, characterized by lack of energy, sluggish, indolent, languid; slow, gentle, easy," from Proto-Germanic *slakas (cf. Old Saxon slak, Old Norse slakr, Old High German slah "slack," Middle Dutch lac "fault, lack"), from PIE root *(s)leg- "to be slack" (see lax).
Sense of "not tight" (in reference to things) is first recorded c.1300. As an adverb from late 14c. Slack-key (1975) translates Hawaiian ki ho'alu. Slack water (n.) "time when tide is not flowing" is from 1769. Slack-handed "remiss" is from 1670s. Slack-baked "baked imperfectly, half-baked" is from 1823; figuratively from 1840.
early 14c., "cessation" (of pain, grief, etc.), from slack (adj.). Meaning "a cessation of flow in a current or tide" is from 1756; that of "still stretch of a river" is from 1825. Meaning "loose part or end" (of a rope, sail, etc.) is from 1794; hence figurative senses in take up the slack (1930 figuratively) and slang cut (someone) some slack (1968). Meaning "quiet period, lull" is from 1851. Slacks "loose trousers" first recorded 1824, originally military.
"coal dust," mid-15c., sleck, of uncertain origin, probably related to Middle Dutch slacke, Middle Low German slecke "slag, small pieces left after coal is screened," perhaps related to slagge "splinter flying off metal when it is struck" (see slag (n.)).
1510s, "to moderate, make slack," back-formed from slack (adj.) after the original verb veered into the specialized sense of slake. Meaning "be remiss, inactive or idle, fail to exert oneself" is attested from 1540s; current use is probably a re-coining from c.1904 (see slacker, and cf. Old English slacful "lazy," sleacmodnes "laziness"). Related: Slacked; slacking.
A period of inertness or decreased activity: He'd pulled his weight long enough to get some slack/ a channel surfer trapped in his own den of slack (1851+)
: Witness the 40,000 or so Americans here now, a lot of them teaching English or just slacking, drinking 50-cent beers in the pubs, grooving to acid jazz at the Roxy