Main definitions of lax in English

: lax1lax2

lax1

adjective

  • 1Not sufficiently strict, severe, or careful.

    ‘lax security arrangements at the airport’
    ‘he'd been a bit lax about discipline in school lately’
    • ‘The source says against this background of lack controls, especially lax internal controls, it is easy to see how a fraud of this type could arise and not be detected for so long.’
    • ‘Most students who graduate enjoy the two years of creative freedom, lax discipline and reasonable workload.’
    • ‘We can't have it both ways - we can't be concerned about terrorism when security is lax but whinge about scaremongering when steps are taken to deal with the threat.’
    • ‘But research shows that the standards remain too lax - and mercury continues to be unregulated.’
    • ‘He told police that security there was so lax others had already successfully targeted it before him.’
    • ‘Today, a year later, airport security is as lax as ever.’
    • ‘The person who lives here has been exceptionally lax about security.’
    • ‘Despite continuing lax enforcement, concern rose at the end of the century, in response to a perceived increase in the consumption of whisky.’
    • ‘The punishment must fit the crime, neither too lax nor too severe.’
    • ‘Overcrowding and lax security were blamed for the escape.’
    • ‘Indeed, she seems not to recognize that state-sponsored inequalities foment terror far more effectively than lax banking laws.’
    • ‘A review of electronic security inside commonwealth agencies has reportedly uncovered a culture of theft and lax security inside the public service.’
    • ‘Delay, impractical documentary formalities, lax enforcement, continuing widespread visibility of piracy and the export of pirated goods remain concerns.’
    • ‘There has been lax security on internal US flights.’
    • ‘Many social problems stem from lax enforcement of strict legal code.’
    • ‘Caring does not mean you are soft and lax on standards.’
    • ‘The campaign has targeted allegedly lax regional and local governments.’
    • ‘Those two sides have plenty of time to interact due to the ludicrously lax security arrangements.’
    • ‘Evidence of lax security is indisputable, however.’
    • ‘This strikes me as a pretty lax approach to national security.’
    slack, slipshod, negligent, neglectful, remiss, careless, heedless, unmindful, inattentive, slapdash, offhand, casual
    easy-going, lenient, permissive, soft, liberal, non-restrictive, indulgent, overindulgent, complaisant, over-tolerant, irresponsible
    sloppy
    View synonyms
  • 2(of the limbs or muscles) relaxed.

    ‘muscles have more potential energy when they are stretched than when they are lax’
    • ‘The mini-brow lift corrects lax forehead muscles and frown lines by elevating the eyebrow position.’
    • ‘She dropped her eyes, and her hand grew lax in his grip; but he merely tightened his fingers around hers and did not turn around.’
    • ‘If the underlying ligamentous structures become lax, the medial muscle mass will undergo increased stress.’
    • ‘His arms were lax as they began slipping off of her when she moved.’
    • ‘The glass dropped from his lax fingers onto the floor.’
    • ‘Adele slumped back into the chair and forced her muscles to go lax.’
    • ‘Not caring, she continued to sit there, muscles that had been corded with stress, now lax and pliable.’
    • ‘Urging greater effort as unaccustomed exercises take toll of muscles rendered lax by soft chairs and rich food.’
    • ‘The underworked muscles become lax and will lengthen, and the overworked ones shorten and will become tight.’
    • ‘An underlying slight twitch of muscles as she tensed, then sighed and those muscles went completely lax as she sagged against me and snugged her head a bit closer.’
    • ‘I stagger down the street for a while before my lax limbs become used to working again.’
    • ‘And then suddenly, the pain was gone, diminishing from whence it came; she fell lax in his arms, her eyes closed in a state of dormancy.’
    • ‘He was round, balding, and held a monocle in one lax hand.’
    • ‘And with that said, her body went completely lax in his arms.’
    • ‘His eyes were closed, muscles lax, breathing barely detectable.’
    • ‘Turning her head upward, her jaw almost dropped, her mouth almost went lax, and she almost lost her vocal cords.’
    • ‘His friend sagged slightly then, something that looked like the beginnings of tears glimmering on his eyelashes as he pulled lax fingers into action and slowly unbuttoned his shirt.’
    • ‘My body feels completely alive, yet growing cool, the muscles gone lax with something more powerful than sleep.’
    • ‘He had, by now, stood up, but his lanky limbs were still lax as his back steadied itself against the wall.’
    • ‘Due to the inactivity of most Americans, their back muscles become lax and lose their ability to properly support the spine.’
    1. 2.1(of the bowels) loose.
      • ‘The unfortunate offset was that the hydronically excited children became rather lax in the bladder department, and messy assisted toilet trips were required.’
    2. 2.2Phonetics
      (of a speech sound, especially a vowel) pronounced with the vocal muscles relaxed.
      ‘the merger of tense and lax vowels before ‘l’’
      The opposite of tense
      • ‘In view of the time required to move to more peripheral vowel positions, tense vowels tend to be peripheral and lax vowels closer to schwa, the neutral or central vowel.’

Origin

Late Middle English (in the sense ‘loose’, said of the bowels): from Latin laxus.

Pronunciation:

lax

/laks/

Main definitions of lax in English

: lax1lax2

lax2

noun

US
informal
  • [mass noun] Lacrosse.

    ‘I wore pads and a helmet whenever I played lax’
    • ‘The 8- and 6-year-olds experimented with the sport for a few weeks that fall and the next spring they signed up to play lax.’
    • ‘We offer lax for boys and girls of all ages – whether you’re just starting in Pre K or want to play Varsity in high school.’
    • ‘Outdoor lax is at Northville Community and Millenium Parks.’
    • ‘When I'm not working these jobs, I'm at our kids sporting events (soccer, lax, flag football, they all play).’
    • ‘I wanted to know if you had any suggestions for teaching him how to play lax like you do.’

Origin

1950s: abbreviation of lacrosse, with x representing crosse (by association with cross).

Pronunciation:

lax

/laks/