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[sloh] /sloʊ/
adjective, slower, slowest.
moving or proceeding with little or less than usual speed or velocity:
a slow train.
characterized by lack of speed:
a slow pace.
taking or requiring a comparatively long time for completion:
a slow meal; a slow trip.
requiring or taking a long time for growing, changing, or occurring; gradual:
a plant of slow growth.
sluggish in nature, disposition, or function.
dull of perception or understanding; mentally dull:
a slow child.
not prompt, readily disposed, or in haste (usually followed by to or an infinitive):
slow to anger; slow to take offense.
burning or heating with little speed or intensity, as a fire or an oven.
slack; not busy:
The market was slow today.
having some quality that retards speed or causes movement, progress, work, etc., to be accomplished at less than the usual or expected rate of speed:
a slow, careful worker; a slow road.
running at less than the proper rate of speed or registering less than the proper time, as a clock.
passing heavily or dragging, as time:
It's been a slow afternoon.
not progressive; behind the times: a slow town.
dull, humdrum, uninteresting, or tedious:
What a slow party!
Photography. requiring long exposure, as by having a small lens diameter or low film sensitivity:
a slow lens or film.
(of the surface of a race track) sticky from a fairly recent rain and in the process of drying out.
adverb, slower, slowest.
in a slow manner; slowly:
Drive slow.
verb (used with object)
to make slow or slower (often followed by up or down).
to retard; reduce the advancement or progress of:
His illness slowed him at school.
verb (used without object)
to become slow or slower; slacken in speed (often followed by up or down).
Origin of slow
before 900; Middle English; Old English slāw sluggish, dull; cognate with Dutch sleeuw; cf. sloth
Related forms
slowly, adverb
slowness, noun
overslow, adjective
overslowly, adverb
overslowness, noun
ultraslow, adjective
ultraslowly, adverb
unslow, adjective
unslowly, adverb
unslowness, noun
unslowed, adjective
1, 2. unhurried. 5. sluggardly, dilatory, indolent, lazy, slothful. 6. dense. 14. boring. 19. hinder, impede, obstruct.
1–3. fast. 19. advance.
Synonym Study
1, 2.Slow, deliberate, gradual, leisurely mean unhurried and not happening rapidly. That which is slow acts or moves without haste or rapidity: a slow procession of cars. Deliberate implies the slowness that marks careful consideration before and while acting: a deliberate and calculating manner. Gradual suggests the slowness of something that advances one step at a time: a gradual improvement in service. That which is leisurely moves with the slowness allowed by ample time or the absence of pressure: an unhurried and leisurely stroll. 6. See dull.
Usage note
As an adverb, slow has two forms, slow and slowly. Slowly appeared first in the 15th century; slow came into use shortly thereafter. Both are standard today in certain uses.
Originally, slow was used both preceding and following the verb it modified. Today, it is used chiefly in imperative constructions with short verbs of motion (drive, run, turn, walk, etc.), and it follows the verb: Drive slow. Don't walk so slow. This use is more common in speech than in writing, although it occurs widely on traffic and road signs. Slow also combines with present participles in forming adjectives: slow-burning; slow-moving. In this use it is standard in all varieties of speech and writing.
Slowly is by far the more common form of the adverb in writing. In both speech and writing it is the usual form in preverb position (He slowly drove down the street. The couple slowly strolled into the park) and following verbs that are not imperatives (He drove slowly down the street. The couple strolled slowly through the park). See also quick, sure.


[sloh-uhp] /ˈsloʊˌʌp/
a delay or retardation in progress or activity; slowdown.
First recorded in 1890-95; noun use of verb phrase slow up Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for slow up
Historical Examples
  • Mr. Payton hesitated, giving the command to slow up, nevertheless.

    Lucile Triumphant Elizabeth M. Duffield
  • “We can slow up a bit again in a few minutes,” said the stranger.

    The Hilltop Boys Cyril Burleigh
  • You can't afford to slow up the play by waiting for your end to get to you.

    Left Guard Gilbert Ralph Henry Barbour
  • Some one called: "slow up there, now," and then the door opened.

    Sister Carrie Theodore Dreiser
  • Have to slow up because the head wind is filling the scows with water.

  • The train began to slow up—perhaps we were to be saved, after all.

    Tramping with Tramps Josiah Flynt
  • When in Cheyenne he was on his last legs—had begun, as they say nowadays, to slow up.

    The Prairie Schooner William Francis Hooker
  • This caused the Confederate lines to slow up in their advance.

    Lee and Longstreet at High Tide Helen D. Longstreet
  • You have a rotten tendency to slow up at the line, just when you should be going the hardest.

    Left Half Harmon Ralph Henry Barbour
  • The rule for all divers, therefore, is "slow down, slow up."

    The Romance of Modern Mechanism Archibald Williams
British Dictionary definitions for slow up


performed or occurring during a comparatively long interval of time
lasting a comparatively long time: a slow journey
characterized by lack of speed: a slow walker
(prenominal) adapted to or productive of slow movement: the slow lane of a motorway
(of a clock, etc) indicating a time earlier than the correct time
given to or characterized by a leisurely or lazy existence: a slow town
not readily responsive to stimulation; intellectually unreceptive: a slow mind
dull or uninteresting: the play was very slow
not easily aroused: a slow temperament
lacking promptness or immediacy: a slow answer
unwilling to perform an action or enter into a state: slow to anger
behind the times
(of trade, etc) unproductive; slack
(of a fire) burning weakly
(of an oven) cool
(photog) requiring a relatively long time of exposure to produce a given density: a slow lens
(sport) (of a track, etc) tending to reduce the speed of the ball or the competitors
(cricket) (of a bowler, etc) delivering the ball slowly, usually with spin
in a manner characterized by lack of speed; slowly
often foll by up or down. to decrease or cause to decrease in speed, efficiency, etc
Derived Forms
slowly, adverb
slowness, noun
Word Origin
Old English slāw sluggish; related to Old High German slēo dull, Old Norse slǣr, Dutch sleeuw slow
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 slow up



Old English slaw "inactive, sluggish, torpid, lazy," also "not clever," from Proto-Germanic *slæwaz (cf. Old Saxon sleu "blunt, dull," Middle Dutch slee, Dutch sleeuw "sour, tart, blunt," Old High German sleo "blunt, dull," Old Norse sljor, Danish sløv, Swedish slö "blunt, dull"). Meaning "taking a long time" is attested from early 13c. Meaning "dull, tedious" is from 1841. As an adverb c.1500. The slows "imaginary disease to account for lethargy" is from 1843.



1550s, "make slower;" 1590s, "go slower," from slow (adj.). Related: Slowed; slowing. Old English had slawian (intransitive) "to be or become slow, be sluggish," but the modern use appears to be a 16c. re-formation.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with slow up

slow up

Slacken or cause to slacken in speed, as in The train slowed up as it approached the curve, or Come on, you're slowing me up. [ Late 1800s ]
Also see: slow down, def. 1.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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