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  1. a slowing down or delay in progress, action, etc.
  2. a deliberate slowing of pace by workers to win demands from their employers.
  3. Sports. a holding or passing tactic by a team to retain possession of the ball, puck, etc., or use up a maximal amount of time, as to safeguard a lead or thwart a high-scoring opponent.
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Origin of slowdown

First recorded in 1895–1900; noun use of verb phrase slow down


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1. slackening, falloff, decline, flagging.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for slowdown


  1. the usual US and Canadian word for go-slow
  2. any slackening of pace
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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 slowdown


also slow-down, 1892, "act of going more slowly," from verbal phrase; see slow (v.) + down (adv.).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper