Origin of slow

before 900; Middle English; Old English slāw sluggish, dull; cognate with Dutch sleeuw; cf. sloth
Related forms

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.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for slowest

British Dictionary definitions for slowest

slow

/ (sləʊ) /

adjective

adverb

in a manner characterized by lack of speed; slowly

verb

(often foll by up or down) to decrease or cause to decrease in speed, efficiency, etc
Derived Formsslowly, adverbslowness, noun

Word Origin for slow

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

Idioms and Phrases with slowest

slow


In addition to the idioms beginning with slow

  • slow burn
  • slow but sure
  • slow down
  • slow on the uptake
  • slow up

also see:

  • mills of the gods grind slowly
  • on the uptake, slow
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.