What does slack mean?

Definitions for slack

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word slack.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. slacknoun

    dust consisting of a mixture of small coal fragments and coal dust and dirt that sifts out when coal is passed over a sieve

  2. slump, slack, drop-off, falloff, falling offnoun

    a noticeable deterioration in performance or quality

    "the team went into a slump"; "a gradual slack in output"; "a drop-off in attendance"; "a falloff in quality"

  3. slack, slack waternoun

    a stretch of water without current or movement

    "suddenly they were in a slack and the water was motionless"

  4. mire, quagmire, quag, morass, slacknoun

    a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot

  5. slack, slacknessnoun

    the quality of being loose (not taut)

    "he hadn't counted on the slackness of the rope"

  6. slackadjective

    a cord or rope or cable that is hanging loosely

    "he took up the slack"

  7. loose, slackadjective

    not tense or taut

    "the old man's skin hung loose and grey"; "slack and wrinkled skin"; "slack sails"; "a slack rope"

  8. slackadjective

    flowing with little speed as e.g. at the turning of the tide

    "slack water"

  9. lax, slackverb

    lacking in rigor or strictness

    "such lax and slipshod ways are no longer acceptable"; "lax in attending classes"; "slack in maintaining discipline"

  10. slackverb

    avoid responsibilities and work, be idle

  11. slackverb

    be inattentive to, or neglect

    "He slacks his attention"

  12. slackverb

    release tension on

    "slack the rope"

  13. slack, slacken, slack up, relaxverb

    make less active or fast

    "He slackened his pace as he got tired"; "Don't relax your efforts now"

  14. slow, slow down, slow up, slack, slackenverb

    become slow or slower

    "Production slowed"

  15. slake, abate, slackverb

    make less active or intense

  16. abate, let up, slack off, slack, die awayverb

    become less in amount or intensity

    "The storm abated"; "The rain let up after a few hours"

  17. slack, slakeverb

    cause to heat and crumble by treatment with water

    "slack lime"


  1. slacknoun

    Small coal; coal dust.

  2. slacknoun

    A valley, or small, shallow dell.

  3. slacknoun

    The part of anything that hangs loose, having no strain upon it.

    The slack of a rope or of a sail.

  4. slacknoun

    A tidal marsh or shallow, that periodically fills and drains.

  5. slackverb

    To mitigate; to reduce the strength of.

  6. slackverb

    to procrastinate; to be lazy

  7. slackverb

    to refuse or dislike exerting effort

  8. slackadverb


    slack dried hops

  9. slackadjective

    Lax; not tense; not hard drawn; not firmly extended.

    a slack rope

  10. slackadjective

    Weak; not holding fast.

    a slack hand

  11. slackadjective

    Remiss; backward; not using due diligence or care; not earnest or eager.

    slack in duty or service

  12. slackadjective

    Not violent, rapid, or pressing.

    Business is slack.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. SLACKadjective

    Etymology: sleac , Saxon; slaken, Islandick; yslack, Welsh; laxus, Latin.

    The vein in the arm is that which Aretæus commonly opens; and he gives a particular caution in this case to make a slack compression, for fear of exciting a convulsion. Arbuthn.

    Thus much help and furtherance is more yielded, in that, if so be our zeal and devotion to Godward be slack, the alacrity and fervour of others serveth as a present spur. Richard Hooker.

    Seeing his soldiers slack and timorous, he reproved them of cowardice and treason. Richard Knolles.

    Nor were it just, would he resume that shape,
    That slack devotion should his thunder ’scape. Edmund Waller.

    Rebellion now began, for lack
    Of zeal and plunder, to grow slack. Hudibras.

    Their pace was formal, grave, and slack:
    His nimble wit out-ran the heavy pack. Dryden.

    A handful of slack dried hops spoil many pounds, by taking away their pleasant smell. John Mortimer, Husbandry.

    All his joints relax’d:
    From his slack hand the garland wreath’d for Eve
    Down dropp’d, and all the faded roses shed. John Milton.

  2. Slacknoun

    Small coal; coal broken in small parts.

    Etymology: from the verb To slack.

  3. To Slack, To Slackenverb

    Ah generous youth, that wish forbear;
    Slack all thy sails, and fear to come. Dryden.

    Had Ajax been employ’d, our slacken’d sails
    Had still at Aulis waited happy gales. Dryden.

    This makes the pulses beat, and lungs respire;
    This holds the sinews like a bridle’s reins,
    And makes the body to advance, retire,
    To turn or stop, as she them slacks or strains. Davies.

    Taught power’s due use to people and to kings,
    Taught nor to slack nor strain its tender strings. Alexander Pope.

    Men, having been brought up at home under a strict rule of duty, always restrained by sharp penalties from lewd behaviour, so soon as they come thither, where they see laws more slackly tended, and the hard restraint, which they were used unto, now slacked, they grow more loose. Edmund Spenser.

    If there be cure or charm
    To respite or deceive, or slack the pain
    Of this ill mansion. John Milton, Paradise Lost.

    On our account has Jove,
    Indulgent, to all moons some succulent plant
    Allow’d, that poor helpless man might slack
    His present thirst, and matter find for toil. Philips.

    My guards
    Are you, great pow’rs, and th’ unbated strength
    Of a firm conscience; which shall arm each step
    Ta’en for the state, and teach me slack no pace. Ben Jonson.

    With such delay well pleas’d, they slack their course. John Milton.

    You may sooner by imagination quicken or slack a motion, than raise or cease it; as it is easier to make a dog go slower than make him stand still. Francis Bacon.

    This doctrine must supersede and slacken all industry and endeavour, which is the lowest degree of that which hath been promised to be accepted by Christ; and leave nothing to us to deliberate or attempt, but only to obey our fate. Henry Hammond.

    Extol not riches then, the toil of fools,
    The wise man’s cumbrance, if not snare; more apt
    To slacken virtue, and abate her edge,
    Than prompt her to do aught may merit praise. John Milton.

    Balls of this metal slack’d Atlanta’s pace,
    And on the am’rous youth bestow’d the race. Edmund Waller.

    One conduces to the poet’s aim, which he is driving on in every line: the other slackens his pace, and diverts him from his way. Dryden.

    Here have I seen the king, when great affairs
    Gave leave to slacken and unbend his cares,
    Attended to the chase by all the flow’r
    Of youth, whose hopes a nobler prey devour. John Denham.

    He that so generally is good, must of necessity hold his virtue to you, whose worthiness would stir it up where it wanted, rather than slack it where there is such abundance. William Shakespeare.

    Some unslacked lime cover with ashes, and let it stand ’till rain comes to slack the lime; then spread them together. John Mortimer.

    Why might not you, my lord, receive attendance
    From those that she calls servants, or from mine?
    —— If then they chanc’d to slack ye,
    We could controul them. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    This good chance, that thus much favoureth,
    He slacks not. Samuel Daniel, Civil War.

    Slack not the good presage, while heav’n inspires
    Our minds to dare, and gives the ready fires. Dryden.

    I should be griev’d, young prince, to think my presence
    Unbent your thoughts, and slacken’d ’em to arms. Addison.

  4. To Slack, To Slackenverb

    Etymology: from the adjective.

    When thou shalt vow a vow unto the Lord, slack not to pay it. Deutr. xxiii. 21.

    The fire, in lime burnt, lies hid, so that it appears to be cold; but water excites it again, whereby it slacks and crumbles into fine powder. Joseph Moxon, Mech. Exer.

    Whence these raging fires
    Will slacken, if his breath stir not their flames. John Milton.


  1. slack

    Slack can have multiple meanings depending on the context: 1) In business, Slack is a renowned communication platform used by teams for messaging, collaboration, and sharing files. 2) In project management, slack refers to the amount of time that a task in a project can be delayed without causing a delay to other tasks or the project as a whole. 3) In broader terms, slack can also refer to lacking in activity, not being busy, being slow, or idle. 4) In everyday language, 'giving someone slack' means to not judge or criticize them harshly, allowing them some freedom or leeway in their behavior or performance.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Slacknoun

    small coal; also, coal dust; culm

  2. Slacknoun

    a valley, or small, shallow dell

  3. Slack

    lax; not tense; not hard drawn; not firmly extended; as, a slack rope

  4. Slack

    weak; not holding fast; as, a slack hand

  5. Slack

    remiss; backward; not using due diligence or care; not earnest or eager; as, slack in duty or service

  6. Slack

    not violent, rapid, or pressing; slow; moderate; easy; as, business is slack

  7. Slackadverb

    slackly; as, slack dried hops

  8. Slacknoun

    the part of anything that hangs loose, having no strain upon it; as, the slack of a rope or of a sail

  9. Slackadjective

    alt. of Slacken

  10. Slackverb

    alt. of Slacken

  11. Etymology: [Icel. slakki a slope on a mountain edge.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Slack

    slak, adj. lax or loose: not firmly extended or drawn out: not holding fast, weak: not eager or diligent, inattentive: not violent or rapid, slow.—adv. in a slack manner: partially: insufficiently.—n. that part of a rope, belt, &c. which is slack or loose: a period of inactivity: a slack-water haul of a net.—vs.i. Slack, Slack′en, to become loose or less tight: to be remiss: to abate: to become slower: to fail or flag.—v.t. to make less tight: to loosen: to relax: to remit: to abate: to withhold: to use less liberally: to check: (B.) to delay.—v.t. Slack′-bake, to half-bake.—adj.Slack′-hand′ed, remiss.—n. Slack′-jaw (slang), impudent talk.—adv. Slack′ly.—n. Slack′ness.—adj.Slack′-salt′ed, insufficiently salted.—n. Slack′-wa′ter, ebb-tide: slow-moving water, as that above a dam.—adj. pertaining to slack-water.—Slack away, to ease off freely; Slack-in-stays, slow in going about, of a ship; Slack off, to ease off; Slack up, to ease off: to slow. [A.S. sleac; Sw. slak, Ice. slakr.]

  2. Slack

    slak, n. coal-dross. [Ger. schlacke.]

  3. Slack

    slak, n. (Scot.) a cleft between hills: a common: a boggy place. [Scand., Ice. slakki, a hill-slope.]

The New Hacker's Dictionary

  1. slack

    1. Space allocated to a disk file but not actually used to store useful information. The techspeak equivalent is ‘internal fragmentation’. Antonym: hole. 2. In the theology of the Church of the SubGenius, a mystical substance or quality that is the prerequisite of all human happiness.Since Unix files are stored compactly, except for the unavoidable wastage in the last block or fragment, it might be said that “Unix has no slack”. See ha ha only serious.

Dictionary of Nautical Terms

  1. slack

    The part of a rope or sail that hangs loose.--To slack, is to decrease in tension or velocity; as, "Slack the laniard of our main-stay;" or "The tide slackens."

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. SLACK

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Slack is ranked #2692 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Slack surname appeared 13,377 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 5 would have the surname Slack.

    82.9% or 11,096 total occurrences were White.
    11.6% or 1,554 total occurrences were Black.
    2.6% or 354 total occurrences were of Hispanic origin.
    1.8% or 247 total occurrences were of two or more races.
    0.5% or 70 total occurrences were Asian.
    0.4% or 56 total occurrences were American Indian or Alaskan Native.

Anagrams for slack »

  1. calks

  2. lacks

How to pronounce slack?

How to say slack in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of slack in Chaldean Numerology is: 3

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of slack in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of slack in a Sentence

  1. Judith Sheindlin:

    Lawyers are always asking me if I will cut some slack for their clients. My standard answer is this is not Let's Make A Deal.

  2. The Real PR Team:

    If this got outa hand any kind of way I apologize.-Mayoral Candidate Melvin Slack to Activist Greshun De Bouse concerning putting her in a chokehold.

  3. Alan Lepofsky:

    The goal is to get Teams to be used by as many people as possible, while this could put pressure on Slack to lift their restrictions, it's not that simple as they play a key part in Slack's freemium to premium monetization.

  4. Judge Brady O’Callaghan:

    Stop telling her you're sorry- Judge Brady O’Callaghan to politician Melvin G. Slack in a September 1, 2022 protective order hearing, after Slack apologized repeatedly to Global Activist Greshun De Bouse concerning putting her in a chokehold

  5. Andrew Kelvin:

    They've been arguing that the amount of excess slack in the economy has been understated thus far, and if that's what they believe, then that would argue for a later tightening.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for slack

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • تثاقلArabic
  • ochabnoutCzech
  • schlaff, faul sein, faulenzen, trödeln, bummelnGerman
  • χαλαρότηταGreek
  • flojo, carboncillo, flojear, aflojarse, relajarse, carbonilla, haraganear, charcoSpanish
  • löysäillä, veltosti, huolimaton, löysästi, huolimattomasti, hiilimurska, viivytellä, veltto, notko, velttoilla, löysä, kluuvi, notkelma, hiljainen, vetelehtiä, hiilipölyFinnish
  • gravierFrench
  • ligean, leibideachIrish
  • सुस्तHindi
  • pūngohe, tatetateMāori
  • tam, week, slap, slecht gemaakt, slak, treuzelenDutch
  • slakkNorwegian
  • frouxoPortuguese
  • сачковать, лодырничать, лениться, небрежный, ненатянутый, слабина, слабый, расслабленный, бездельничатьRussian
  • opušteno, odugovlačiti, mlohavo, labavoSerbo-Croatian
  • slakSwedish

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"slack." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 30 Nov. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/slack>.

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    personnel who assist their superior in carrying out an assigned task
    • A. bias
    • B. vehicle
    • C. purse
    • D. staff

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