adjective, slow·er, slow·est.
adverb, slow·er, slow·est.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of slow
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.
Examples from the Web for slowness
At times it can seem too proud of its virtuous noncommerciality; its slowness can seem shallow, its artiness willful.‘The Leftovers’ Review: A Fever Dream You Can’t Wake Up From|Andrew Romano|June 29, 2014|DAILY BEAST
“The key to the show, to building towards the big lines, is in the pauses, the slowness,” she says.Watching Us, Watching Them: On ‘The People’s Couch’|Tim Teeman|March 20, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Teased for their slowness, many become depressed and angry and act out.
In her hands, celluloid comes off as a medium that allows for old-fashioned rumination, with some of the slowness of oil paint.Tacita Dean’s ‘Five Americans’ Captures a Quiet Brilliance|Blake Gopnik|May 7, 2012|DAILY BEAST
People who have done nothing being driven like animals, being punished for their slowness.
As a whole the army's reputation had been injured by the Adowa disaster and by the slowness of the campaign in Tripoli.
They are commonly marked by the two signs of the slowness of their growth and the suddenness of their termination.Tremendous Trifles|G. K. Chesterton
Germany counted upon the slowness of Russian mobilization to give her six weeks of immunity on her eastern frontier.
Thus a man is in best case when he fails to notice either the rapidity or the slowness of its flight.Fathers and Sons|Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev
The captain looked at his watch, and went out with a smartness that contrasted happily with his slowness of speech.Love Me Little, Love Me Long|Charles Reade
British Dictionary definitions for slowness
Word Origin for slow
Word Origin and History for slowness (1 of 3)
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.
Word Origin and History for slowness (2 of 3)
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.
Idioms and Phrases with slowness
In addition to the idioms beginning with slow
- slow burn
- slow but sure
- slow down
- slow on the uptake
- slow up
- mills of the gods grind slowly
- on the uptake, slow