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slow

[sloh]
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adjective, slow·er, slow·est.
  1. moving or proceeding with little or less than usual speed or velocity: a slow train.
  2. characterized by lack of speed: a slow pace.
  3. taking or requiring a comparatively long time for completion: a slow meal; a slow trip.
  4. requiring or taking a long time for growing, changing, or occurring; gradual: a plant of slow growth.
  5. sluggish in nature, disposition, or function.
  6. dull of perception or understanding; mentally dull: a slow child.
  7. not prompt, readily disposed, or in haste (usually followed by to or an infinitive): slow to anger; slow to take offense.
  8. burning or heating with little speed or intensity, as a fire or an oven.
  9. slack; not busy: The market was slow today.
  10. having some quality that retards speed or causes movement, progress, work, etc., to be accomplished at less than the usual or expected rate of speed: a slow, careful worker; a slow road.
  11. running at less than the proper rate of speed or registering less than the proper time, as a clock.
  12. passing heavily or dragging, as time: It's been a slow afternoon.
  13. not progressive; behind the times: a slow town.
  14. dull, humdrum, uninteresting, or tedious: What a slow party!
  15. Photography. requiring long exposure, as by having a small lens diameter or low film sensitivity: a slow lens or film.
  16. (of the surface of a race track) sticky from a fairly recent rain and in the process of drying out.
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adverb, slow·er, slow·est.
  1. in a slow manner; slowly: Drive slow.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to make slow or slower (often followed by up or down).
  2. to retard; reduce the advancement or progress of: His illness slowed him at school.
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verb (used without object)
  1. to become slow or slower; slacken in speed (often followed by up or down).
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Origin of slow

before 900; Middle English; Old English slāw sluggish, dull; cognate with Dutch sleeuw; cf. sloth
Related formsslow·ly, adverbslow·ness, nouno·ver·slow, adjectiveo·ver·slow·ly, adverbo·ver·slow·ness, nounul·tra·slow, adjectiveul·tra·slow·ly, adverbun·slow, adjectiveun·slow·ly, adverbun·slow·ness, nounun·slowed, adjective

Synonyms

See more synonyms for slow on Thesaurus.com
1, 2. unhurried. 5. sluggardly, dilatory, indolent, lazy, slothful. 6. dense. 14. boring. 19. hinder, impede, obstruct.

Synonym study

1, 2. Slow, deliberate, gradual, leisurely mean unhurried and not happening rapidly. That which is slow acts or moves without haste or rapidity: a slow procession of cars. Deliberate implies the slowness that marks careful consideration before and while acting: a deliberate and calculating manner. Gradual suggests the slowness of something that advances one step at a time: a gradual improvement in service. That which is leisurely moves with the slowness allowed by ample time or the absence of pressure: an unhurried and leisurely stroll. 6. See dull.

Antonyms

1–3. fast. 19. advance.

Usage note

As an adverb, slow has two forms, slow and slowly. Slowly appeared first in the 15th century; slow came into use shortly thereafter. Both are standard today in certain uses.
Originally, slow was used both preceding and following the verb it modified. Today, it is used chiefly in imperative constructions with short verbs of motion ( drive, run, turn, walk, etc.), and it follows the verb: Drive slow. Don't walk so slow. This use is more common in speech than in writing, although it occurs widely on traffic and road signs. Slow also combines with present participles in forming adjectives: slow-burning; slow-moving. In this use it is standard in all varieties of speech and writing.
Slowly is by far the more common form of the adverb in writing. In both speech and writing it is the usual form in preverb position ( He slowly drove down the street. The couple slowly strolled into the park ) and following verbs that are not imperatives ( He drove slowly down the street. The couple strolled slowly through the park ). See also quick, sure.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for slow

slow

adjective
  1. performed or occurring during a comparatively long interval of time
  2. lasting a comparatively long timea slow journey
  3. characterized by lack of speeda slow walker
  4. (prenominal) adapted to or productive of slow movementthe slow lane of a motorway
  5. (of a clock, etc) indicating a time earlier than the correct time
  6. given to or characterized by a leisurely or lazy existencea slow town
  7. not readily responsive to stimulation; intellectually unreceptivea slow mind
  8. dull or uninterestingthe play was very slow
  9. not easily arouseda slow temperament
  10. lacking promptness or immediacya slow answer
  11. unwilling to perform an action or enter into a stateslow to anger
  12. behind the times
  13. (of trade, etc) unproductive; slack
  14. (of a fire) burning weakly
  15. (of an oven) cool
  16. photog requiring a relatively long time of exposure to produce a given densitya slow lens
  17. sport (of a track, etc) tending to reduce the speed of the ball or the competitors
  18. cricket (of a bowler, etc) delivering the ball slowly, usually with spin
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adverb
  1. in a manner characterized by lack of speed; slowly
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verb
  1. (often foll by up or down) to decrease or cause to decrease in speed, efficiency, etc
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Derived Formsslowly, adverbslowness, noun

Word Origin

Old English slāw sluggish; related to Old High German slēo dull, Old Norse slǣr, Dutch sleeuw slow
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 slow

adj.

Old English slaw "inactive, sluggish, torpid, lazy," also "not clever," from Proto-Germanic *slæwaz (cf. Old Saxon sleu "blunt, dull," Middle Dutch slee, Dutch sleeuw "sour, tart, blunt," Old High German sleo "blunt, dull," Old Norse sljor, Danish sløv, Swedish slö "blunt, dull"). Meaning "taking a long time" is attested from early 13c. Meaning "dull, tedious" is from 1841. As an adverb c.1500. The slows "imaginary disease to account for lethargy" is from 1843.

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v.

1550s, "make slower;" 1590s, "go slower," from slow (adj.). Related: Slowed; slowing. Old English had slawian (intransitive) "to be or become slow, be sluggish," but the modern use appears to be a 16c. re-formation.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with slow

slow

In addition to the idioms beginning with slow

also see:

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