[ slak-uhn ]
See synonyms for: slackenslackenedslackeningslackens on

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

First recorded in 1570–80; slack1 + -en1

Other words for slacken

Opposites for slacken

Other words from slacken

  • un·slack·ened, adjective
  • un·slack·en·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use slacken in a sentence

  • She went slowly on; the man slackened his pace and fell behind so that he could still keep her in sight.

    An Episode Under the Terror | Honore de Balzac
  • And presently I saw that our consort, the Dane, had slackened her speed, so that there was a mile of water between us astern.

    A Prince of Cornwall | Charles W. Whistler
  • He walked quickly until he came to the Rue St. Honoré, when his pace slackened a little and he grew more thoughtful.

    The Light That Lures | Percy Brebner

British Dictionary definitions for 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