[ sleyk ]
See synonyms for: slakeslaking on

verb (used with object),slaked, slak·ing.
  1. to allay (thirst, desire, wrath, etc.) by satisfying.

  2. to cool or refresh: He slaked his lips with ice.

  1. to make less active, vigorous, intense, etc.: His calm manner slaked their enthusiasm.

  2. to cause disintegration of (lime) by treatment with water.: Compare slaked lime.

  3. to moisten; wet: To thicken the sauce, add a tablespoon of cornstarch slaked with a little cold water.

  4. Obsolete. to make loose or less tense; slacken.

verb (used without object),slaked, slak·ing.
  1. (of lime) to become slaked.

  2. Archaic. to become less active, intense, vigorous, etc.; abate.

Origin of slake

First recorded before 1000; Middle English slaken, slakken, slake “to loosen, lessen, mitigate, allay, moderate,” Old English slacian, slæcian, sleacian “to slacken, lessen one's efforts,” equivalent to slæc “inactive, careless, languid” + -ian causative verb suffix; see origin at slack1

Other words for slake

Other words from slake

  • slak·a·ble, slake·a·ble, adjective
  • slake·less, adjective
  • un·slak·a·ble, adjective
  • un·slake·a·ble, adjective
  • un·slaked, adjective

Words Nearby slake Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use slake in a sentence

  • The fevered mules plunged in headlong and drank greedily; the riders were perforce obliged to slake their thirst after them.

    Overland | John William De Forest
  • An old gray-headed man tottered forward to slake his burning thirst.

    The Pickwick Papers | Charles Dickens
  • In good sooth ye do,” cried Biarne, with a laugh; “a mouse could hardly slake his thirst with all that you have yet imbibed.

    The Norsemen in the West | R.M. Ballantyne
  • Would I be the tiger, blind with desire of blood leaping at the wild-deer's throat, to slake a cruel thirst?

    Sarchedon | G. J. (George John) Whyte-Melville
  • The sun was excessively hot, and at every rivulet that I crossed I stopped to slake my thirst.

British Dictionary definitions for slake


/ (sleɪk) /

  1. (tr) literary to satisfy (thirst, desire, etc)

  2. (tr) poetic to cool or refresh

  1. Also: slack to undergo or cause to undergo the process in which lime reacts with water or moist air to produce calcium hydroxide

  2. archaic to make or become less active or intense

Origin of slake

Old English slacian, from slæc slack 1; related to Dutch slaken to diminish, Icelandic slaka

Derived forms of slake

  • slakable or slakeable, adjective
  • slaker, noun

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