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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.
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Origin of slacken

First recorded in 1570–80; slack1 + -en1
Related formsun·slack·ened, adjectiveun·slack·en·ing, adjective

Synonyms for slacken

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Antonyms for slacken

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for slacken

loosen, subside, sag, mitigate, soften, retard, relent, abate, diminish, weaken, slow, slack, relax, ease, loose, reduce, remit, flag, slake, moderate

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Contemporary Examples of slacken

Historical Examples of slacken

British Dictionary definitions for slacken


verb (often foll by off)
  1. to make or become looser
  2. to make or become slower, less intense, etc
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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

Word Origin and History for slacken


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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper