Idioms

    take up the slack,
    1. to pull in or make taut a loose section of a rope, line, wire, etc.: Take up the slack before releasing the kite.
    2. to provide or compensate for something that is missing or incomplete: New sources of oil will take up the slack resulting from the embargo.

Origin of slack

1
before 900; Middle English slac (adj.), Old English sleac, slæc; cognate with Old Norse slakr, Old High German slach, Latin laxus lax

Related forms

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for slack off (1 of 2)

See also slacks

Derived Forms

slackly, adverbslackness, noun

Word Origin for slack

Old English slæc, sleac; related to Old High German slah, Old Norse slākr bad, Latin laxus lax

British Dictionary definitions for slack off (2 of 2)

slack

2
/ (slæk) /

noun

small pieces of coal with a high ash content

Word Origin for slack

C15: probably from Middle Low German slecke; related to Dutch slak, German Schlacke dross
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

Idioms and Phrases with slack off

slack off

Decrease in activity or intensity, as in If business ever slacks off we can go on vacation, or When the project fell behind schedule again, she thought we were slacking off. [Second half of 1800s]


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.