• synonyms


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.
  3. to make less active, vigorous, intense, etc.: His calm manner slaked their enthusiasm.
  4. to cause disintegration of (lime) by treatment with water.Compare slaked lime.
  5. Obsolete. to make loose or less tense; slacken.
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verb (used without object), slaked, slak·ing.
  1. (of lime) to become slaked.
  2. Archaic. to become less active, intense, vigorous, etc.; abate.
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Origin of slake

before 1000; Middle English slaken to mitigate, allay, moderate, lessen one's efforts, Old English slacian to slacken, lessen one's efforts, equivalent to slæc slack1 + -ian causative verb suffix
Related formsslak·a·ble, slake·a·ble, adjectiveslake·less, adjectiveun·slak·a·ble, adjectiveun·slake·a·ble, adjectiveun·slaked, adjective


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

Related Words


Examples from the Web for slaking

Historical Examples

  • The efforts of intellect seem to inspire a thirst there is no slaking.

    The Fortunes Of Glencore

    Charles James Lever

  • The practice of slaking lime in small piles in the field is wasteful.

  • The water for slaking comes from rains, or from moisture in the air and earth.

  • In this fact we see the necessity for ample means of slaking thirst.

    The Ceramic Art

    Jennie J. Young

  • What motive can he have in this save the slaking of his over-weening pride?

    The Siege of Norwich Castle

    Matilda Maria Blake

British Dictionary definitions for slaking


  1. (tr) literary to satisfy (thirst, desire, etc)
  2. (tr) poetic to cool or refresh
  3. Also: slack to undergo or cause to undergo the process in which lime reacts with water or moist air to produce calcium hydroxide
  4. archaic to make or become less active or intense
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Derived Formsslakable or slakeable, adjectiveslaker, noun

Word Origin

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



late Old English sleacian, slacian "become slack or remiss; slacken an effort" (intransitive); "delay, retard" (transitive), from slæc "lax" (see slack (adj.)). Transitive sense of "make slack" is from late 12c. Sense of "allay, diminish in force, quench, extinguish" (in reference to thirst, hunger, desire, wrath, etc.) first recorded early 14c. via notion of "make slack or inactive." Related: Slaked; slaking.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper