adjective, slow·er, slow·est.
adverb, slow·er, slow·est.
verb (used with object)
verb (used without object)
Origin of slow
Synonyms for slow
Antonyms for 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.
Related Words for slownessunwillingness, indifference, apathy, lethargy, listlessness, inactivity, feebleness, impotence
Examples from the Web for slowness
Contemporary Examples of 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
June 29, 2014
“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’
March 20, 2014
Teased for their slowness, many become depressed and angry and act out.The Real Juvenile Offenders
June 22, 2013
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
May 7, 2012
People who have done nothing being driven like animals, being punished for their slowness.My Gaza Flotilla Diary
June 4, 2010
Historical Examples of slowness
The only thing at which she wondered was the slowness of the working of the marvel.The Dream
His slowness was partly assumed; his indifference was a mere habit.
Occasionally he muttered impatiently to himself at the slowness of his progress.
Perhaps so; only his slowness is marked with blood and disasters.Diary from November 12, 1862, to October 18, 1863
The taxi gave no opportunity for complaint as far as slowness was concerned.Cap'n Dan's Daughter
Joseph C. Lincoln
Word Origin for slow
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.
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.
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