• WordNet 3.6
    • adj slack lacking in rigor or strictness "such lax and slipshod ways are no longer acceptable","lax in attending classes","slack in maintaining discipline"
    • adj slack flowing with little speed as e.g. at the turning of the tide "slack water"
    • adj slack not tense or taut "the old man's skin hung loose and grey","slack and wrinkled skin","slack sails","a slack rope"
    • v slack cause to heat and crumble by treatment with water "slack lime"
    • v slack become less in amount or intensity "The storm abated","The rain let up after a few hours"
    • v slack make less active or intense
    • v slack become slow or slower "Production slowed"
    • v slack make less active or fast "He slackened his pace as he got tired","Don't relax your efforts now"
    • v slack release tension on "slack the rope"
    • v slack be inattentive to, or neglect "He slacks his attention"
    • v slack avoid responsibilities and work, be idle
    • n slack a cord or rope or cable that is hanging loosely "he took up the slack"
    • n slack the quality of being loose (not taut) "he hadn't counted on the slackness of the rope"
    • n slack a soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot
    • n slack a stretch of water without current or movement "suddenly they were in a slack and the water was motionless"
    • n slack 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"
    • n slack dust consisting of a mixture of small coal fragments and coal dust and dirt that sifts out when coal is passed over a sieve
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • n Slack A valley, or small, shallow dell.
    • a Slack Lax; not tense; not hard drawn; not firmly extended; as, a slack rope.
    • Slack Not violent, rapid, or pressing; slow; moderate; easy; as, business is slack .
    • Slack Remiss; backward; not using due diligence or care; not earnest or eager; as, slack in duty or service.
    • adv Slack Slackly; as, slack dried hops.
    • n Slack Small coal; also, coal dust; culm.
    • n Slack The part of anything that hangs loose, having no strain upon it; as, the slack of a rope or of a sail.
    • Slack To abate; to become less violent. "Whence these raging fires
      Will slacken , if his breath stir not their flames."
    • Slack To be remiss or backward; to be negligent.
    • Slack To become slack; to be made less tense, firm, or rigid; to decrease in tension; as, a wet cord slackens in dry weather.
    • Slack To cause to become less eager; to repress; to make slow or less rapid; to retard; as, to slacken pursuit; to slacken industry. "Rancor for to slack .""I should be grieved, young prince, to think my presence
      Unbent your thoughts, and slackened 'em to arms."
      "In this business of growing rich, poor men should slack their pace.""With such delay
      Well plased, they slack their course."
    • Slack To cause to become less intense; to mitigate; to abate; to ease. "To respite, or deceive, or slack thy pain
      Of this ill mansion."
    • Slack To deprive of cohesion by combining chemically with water; to slake; as, to slack lime.
    • Slack To end; to cease; to desist; to slake. "That through your death your lineage should slack .""They will not of that firste purpose slack ."
    • Slack To languish; to fail; to flag.
    • Slack To lose cohesion or solidity by a chemical combination with water; to slake; as, lime slacks .
    • Slack To lose rapidity; to become more slow; as, a current of water slackens .
    • Slack To neglect; to be remiss in. "Slack not the pressage."
    • Slack To render slack; to make less tense or firm; as, to slack a rope; to slacken a bandage.
    • Slack Weak; not holding fast; as, a slack hand.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • slack Slow in movement; tardy.
    • slack Slow in flow; sluggish or at rest: as, slack water: specifically noting the tide, or the time when the tide is at rest—that is, between the flux and reflux.
    • slack Slow in action; lacking in promptness or diligence; negligent; remiss.
    • slack Not tight; not tense or taut; relaxed; loose: as, a slack rope; slack rigging; a slack rein; figuratively, languid; limp; feeble; weak.
    • slack Not compacted or firm; loose.
    • slack Lacking in briskness or activity; dull: said especially of business.
    • slack In hydraulic engineering, a pool or pond behind a dam serving for needs of navigation. Such ponds are used with a series of dams and locks, to render small streams navigable.
    • slack Synonyms Careless, dilatory, tardy, inactive.
    • n slack The part of a rope or the like that hangs loose, having no stress upon it; also, looseness, as of the parts of a machine.
    • n slack A remission; an interval of rest, inactivity, or dullness, as in trade or work; a slack period.
    • n slack A slack-water haul of the net: as, two or three slacks are taken daily.
    • n slack A long pool in a streamy river.
    • slack In a slack manner; slowly; partially; insufficiently: as, slack dried hops; bread slack baked.
    • slack To become slack or slow; slacken; become slower: as, a current of water slacks.
    • slack To become less tense, firm, or rigid; decrease in tension.
    • slack To abate; become less violent.
    • slack To become languid; languish; fail; flag.
    • slack To make slack or slow; retard.
    • slack To make slack or less tense; loosen; relax: as, to slack a rope or a bandage.
    • slack To relax; let go the hold of; lose or let slip.
    • slack To make less intense, violent, severe, rapid, etc.; abate; moderate; diminish; hence, to mitigate; relieve.
    • slack To be remiss in or neglectful of; neglect.
    • slack To make remiss or neglectful.
    • slack To slake (lime). See slake, transitive verb, 3.
    • slack To cool in water.
    • slack To retard the speed of, as a railway-train.
    • n slack The finer screenings of coal; coal-dirt; especially, the dirt of bituminous coal. Slack is not considered a marketable material, but may be and is more or less used for making prepared or artificial fuel. Compare small coal, under small.
    • n slack A sloping hillside.
    • n slack An opening between hills; a hollow where no water runs.
    • n slack A common.
    • n slack A morass.
    • n slack The interval of slack water, when the tide is at rest, either at high or low tide; sluggishness of the current, at that time See slack, adjective, 2.
    • n slack plural A sailor's loose trousers.
    • n slack Feeble, foolish talk.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Slack slak lax or loose: not firmly extended or drawn out: not holding fast, weak: not eager or diligent, inattentive: not violent or rapid, slow
    • adv Slack in a slack manner: partially: insufficiently
    • n Slack 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 to become loose or less tight: to be remiss: to abate: to become slower: to fail or flag
    • v.t Slack to make less tight: to loosen: to relax: to remit: to abate: to withhold: to use less liberally: to check:
    • adj Slack Slack′-hand′ed, remiss
    • adj Slack Slack′-salt′ed, insufficiently salted
    • adj Slack pertaining to slack-water
    • n Slack slak coal-dross.
    • n Slack slak (Scot.) a cleft between hills: a common: a boggy place.
    • v.t Slack (B.) to delay
    • ***


  • Robert Louis Stevenson
    “In marriage, a man becomes slack and selfish, and undergoes a fatty degeneration of his moral being.”
  • Bible
    “He also who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys. [Proverbs 18:9]”


Cut someone some slack - To relax a rule or make an allowance, as in allowing someone more time to finish something.


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. slak, AS. sleac,; akin to OS. slak, OHG. slah, Prov. G. schlack, Icel. slakr, Sw. slak,; cf. Skr. sṛj, to let loose, to throw. Cf. Slake


In literature:

The horse slacked in its galloping.
"The Pirates of Ersatz" by Murray Leinster
Dey sot dar en talk twel bimeby der confab sorter slack up.
"Nights With Uncle Remus" by Joel Chandler Harris
Presently a sudden welcome slack {105} shows that the flukes have broken clear.
"All Afloat" by William Wood
During slack hours it was easy, too easy.
"Working With the Working Woman" by Cornelia Stratton Parker
The lump at his throat went down, and the fingers on the wall slacked away.
"The Manxman A Novel - 1895" by Hall Caine
The slack of the line was coiled neatly on the beach.
"The Woman from Outside" by Hulbert Footner
She rose from among the broken dishes and came towards him, with slack lips and great startled eyes.
"The House with the Green Shutters" by George Douglas Brown
Business happened to be slack that afternoon, and at the early hour of four o'clock Mr. Walkingshaw resumed his overcoat and muffler.
"The Prodigal Father" by J. Storer Clouston
There's a fish rising in the slack yonder!
"The Long Portage" by Harold Bindloss
You've gone slack and your eyes look heavy.
"Brandon of the Engineers" by Harold Bindloss

In poetry:

His wife escaped a little way,
But died for looking back:
Does not her case to pilgrims say,
Beware of growing slack?
"Lot In Sodom" by John Newton
They closed full fast on every side,
No slackness there was found,
But many a gallant gentleman
Lay gasping on the ground.
"Chevy Chase" by Henry Morley
What could it be? for friends are slack,
And give, I rather trow,
When they are sure of getting back
As much as they bestow.
"A Fowl Affair" by Hattie Howard
Its weightiness doth try my back,
That faith and patience be not slack:
It is a fanning wind, whereby
I am unchaff'd of vanity.
"The Believer's Riddle; or, the Mystery of Faith" by Ralph Erskine
And does it not when much indulg'd,
Or held by slack and yielding hand,
Lead on to woes oft undivulg'd,
To crimes unknown, throughout the land?
"Love And Wine" by Thomas Frederick Young
"Ride by the gate at Priesthaughswire,
And warn the Currors o' the Lee;
As ye come down the Hermitage Slack,
Warn doughty Willie o' Gorrinbery."
"Jamie Telfer" by Andrew Lang

In news:

Reggie Slack shrugged off a slow start to throw for three touchdowns and run for a fourth as Auburn held the Big Ten's top offense to 81 yards in the second half en route to a 31-14 victory today in the Hall of Fame Bowl.
RACINE — Gov Joe Manchin III and his wife, Gayle, entered John Slack Memorial Park in style Monday afternoon.
I give Raven players far more slack than I would an Orioles or a Steeler.
Dollie Ann Slack Reel , 84, died Nov 29, 2001.
Others Ready to Take Up Slack.
Christopher Collins of No Slack Photography captured this quick sailfish release while in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
When traveling, I have a tendency to slack off packing beauty products in hopes—er, wishes—that the hotel I'm staying in will have something nice in the bathroom.
Job Opportunities at SLACK Incorporated.
The pace of the rhymes could quicken, or go slack, depending on the needs of the tale he was weaving.
Yeah, Rio is a kids' movie, and in a way it should be cut some slack for that very reason.
There are so many cowboys and cowgirls competing for prize money at 'The Daddy of 'em All' that they can't fit it all in during all the afternoon rodeos so they take up the 'slack' early in the mornings.
A year after Piper shut down the Saratoga HP, the Matrix helps pick up the slack.
The spotlit host, Matt Yip, is a generically handsome man, wearing slacks and a sport coat.
Hemming on jeans, slacks or dresses.
God promised to shake everything that can be shaken, and He is not slack about keeping His promises.

In science:

Column 2 gives the corresponding values of the slack variables corresponding to the ith test, as returned by the constraints (7) and (8) of No-LiPo – here (f (x))+ denotes the function max{f (x), 0}.
Non-adaptive Group Testing: Explicit bounds and novel algorithms
Column 8(b) then computes the product of column 5 with the difference of the entries in column 7 from those of column 8(a), i.e., the expected change in the value of the slack variable ηi (.).
Non-adaptive Group Testing: Explicit bounds and novel algorithms
The function ∆π measures the slack in the subadditivity constraints: ∆π(x, y) = π(x) + π(y) − π(x ⊕ y).
Equivariant Perturbation in Gomory and Johnson's Infinite Group Problem
For each observation (xi , yi ) in the training set T we introduce a slack variable ξi ≥ 0 measuring the degree to which the i-th inequality/constraint in (4) is not met.
Optimal diagnostic tests for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease based on support vector machine classification of RT-QuIC data
We then relax the i-th inequality to yi (wT xi + b) + ξi ≥ 1, and add the term C Pi ξi to the ob jective function, where C ≥ 0, which has the purpose of pushing the slack variables to zero.
Optimal diagnostic tests for sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease based on support vector machine classification of RT-QuIC data