Definition of slacken in English:



  • 1Make or become slack.

    with object ‘he slackened his grip’
    no object ‘suddenly the line slackens and flutters in the wind’
    • ‘I slackened off the pressure slightly, encouraging the skate to dive, which it did.’
    • ‘Cael felt the grip on him suddenly slacken as the weapon implanted itself in the man's chest.’
    • ‘As Noel started to claw the line back the line slackened and Noel thought he had lost the fish, but it was still on.’
    • ‘State universities slackened their grip, and private universities such as Columbia followed suit.’
    • ‘The tendrils began to slacken and released their grip on her.’
    • ‘Then, the rod kicked straight and his line slackened.’
    • ‘Draconis froze, his body stiffening, his grip slackening.’
    • ‘I could feel her grip around my waist slacken as she realized I could hold myself steady on the stallion, my hands wrapped in its mane.’
    • ‘But his grip did not slacken, and he pulled her outside into an ally.’
    • ‘Her head felt light and her grip on the reins slackened.’
    • ‘Suddenly taken by curiosity, he let is grip slacken and opened it up.’
    • ‘The line slackened again and the rod lifted upright.’
    • ‘Reed, more in shock than pain, slackened his grip.’
    • ‘They flew on for what felt like hours to Hazel but her grip never slackened around the neck of the Quebba.’
    • ‘He gave a grunt of pain and his grip around her throat slackened enough that she was able to break free.’
    • ‘He did not once slacken his grip until someone cut him off near the river.’
    • ‘Acacia felt his grip slacken just enough for her to break free and run for the back door.’
    • ‘His hands became gentler as he slackened his grip slightly.’
    • ‘She could feel his grip on her slacken and saw the glassy look in his eyes.’
    • ‘She had slackened off her seat belt slightly to allow her to turn towards Knowles and plead with him.’
    loosen, make looser, release, relax, loose
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  • 2Reduce or decrease in speed or intensity.

    no object ‘the pace never slackens’
    • ‘When the swarms had slackened off it was generally agreed that this was perhaps not a good day to come to the beach.’
    • ‘There is no sign of the pace slackening off, with the total for the first five months of 2003 up by a substantial 13.8 per cent.’
    • ‘Her breathing became deep and slow, her heartbeat slackened and she lifted her face to the heat of the sun.’
    • ‘In both of those games they slackened off when it was clear they were under no pressure.’
    • ‘‘Even now, if I slackened off,’ he says, ‘the weight would soon pile its way back on again.’’
    • ‘Night fell over them like a cloak, and still, Danea did not slacken her speed.’
    • ‘The river flow was slackening off now, but the bites continued.’
    • ‘The movie has a great pace which never slackens and the end is amazing.’
    • ‘The volume of work, however, has slackened off.’
    • ‘The two laughed, feeling the weight of their feelings slackening off.’
    • ‘I suppose we slackened off a bit towards the end and lost the concentration slightly but you would nearly expect that in the circumstances.’
    • ‘Malton then slackened off a bit and allowed a Halifax centre to break from halfway and score between the posts.’
    • ‘When competition becomes less intense, management slackens off, becoming fat and lazy instead of lean and mean.’
    • ‘Since the spring sowing could not be postponed, the breakneck speed of collectivization was slackened.’
    • ‘Abdul doesn't see business slackening off anytime soon.’
    • ‘If the men slackened off, the planks they stood on came up and lacerated the shins of their legs causing painful injury.’
    • ‘Even in training you have to be on your toes, you can't be slackening off with the squad we have.’
    • ‘Suddenly the pressure slackened, went back to its original amount, and Jinx could see again, though he was still unable to move.’
    • ‘It is the busiest part of Kuala Lumpur, a part that never slackens its pace, where life races at its fastest best.’
    • ‘Amanda had had a crush on Jayson since ninth grade and it hadn't slackened off one bit.’
    become slower, get slower, make slower, slow down, slow, decelerate, reduce in speed, slack
    decrease, lessen, subside, ease off, ease up, get less, let up, abate, moderate, become less intense, slack off, diminish, dwindle, die down, fall off, drop off, taper off, ebb, recede, wane
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