AskDefine | Define slack

Dictionary Definition

slack adj
1 not tense or taut; "the old man's skin hung loose and gray"; "slack and wrinkled skin"; "slack sails"; "a slack rope" [syn: loose]
2 lacking in strength or firmness or resilience; "flaccid muscles"; "took his lax hand in hers"; "gave a limp handshake"; "a limp gesture as if waving away all desire to know" G.K.Chesterton; "a slack grip" [syn: flaccid, lax, limp]
3 flowing with little speed as e.g. at the turning of the tide; "slack water"
4 lacking in rigor or strictness; "such lax and slipshod ways are no longer acceptable"; "lax in attending classes"; "slack in maintaining discipline" [syn: lax]


1 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 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" [syn: slump, drop-off, falloff, falling off]
3 a stretch of water without current or movement; "suddenly they were in slack water"
4 the condition of being loose (not taut); "he hadn't counted on the slackness of the rope" [syn: slackness]
5 a cord or rope or cable that is hanging loosely; "he took up the slack"


1 avoid responsibilities and work, be idle
2 be inattentive to, or neglect; "He slacks his attention"
3 release tension on; "slack the rope"
4 make less active or fast; "He slackened his pace as he got tired"; "Don't relax your efforts now" [syn: slacken, slack up, relax]
5 become slow or slower; "Production slowed" [syn: slow, slow down, slow up, slacken]
6 make less active or intense [syn: slake, abate]
7 become less in amount or intensity; "The storm abated"; "The rain let up after a few hours" [syn: abate, let up, slack off, die away]
8 cause to heat and crumble by treatment with water; "slack lime" [syn: slake]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /slæk/
    Rhymes with: -æk


  1. Small coal; coal dust.
  2. A valley, or small, shallow dell.
  3. The part of anything that hangs loose, having no strain upon it.
    The slack of a rope or of a sail.
  4. A tidal marsh or shallow, that periodically fills and drains.



en-adj er
  1. Lax; not tense; not hard drawn; not firmly extended.
    a slack rope
  2. Weak; not holding fast.
    a slack hand
  3. Remiss; backward; not using due diligence or care; not earnest or eager.
    slack in duty or service
  4. Not violent, rapid, or pressing.
    Business is slack.



  • German: schlaff
  • Portuguese: frouxo
  • Spanish: flojo


  1. Slackly.
    slack dried hops


  1. In the context of "followed by “off”": to procrastinate; to be lazy
  2. In the context of "followed by “off”": to refuse or dislike exerting effort


to procrastinate
to refuse or dislike exterting effort

Extensive Definition

Slack may refer to: See also:
slack in German: Slack
slack in French: Slack

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Laodicean, Micawberish, Olympian, Paphian, abandon, abate, abatement, abeyant, aloof, ambling, anemic, apathetic, asthenic, backward, bagging, baggy, bate, beat-up, bedraggled, behindhand, benumbed, blah, blase, bloodless, blow out, blowzy, bone-lazy, bones, cadging, careless, cataleptic, catatonic, cautious, chaff, chambering, chicken, chintzy, choke, circumspect, claudicant, coal dust, comatose, comb, coom, cowardly, crawling, creeping, creeping like snail, culm, culpably negligent, cut, dallying, damp, dangling, dead, deadwood, debilitated, decline, decrease, delay, delaying, deliberate, delinquent, derelict, desensitized, detached, diffuse, dilapidated, dilatory, dillydallying, diminish, diminution, dishwater, disinterested, disjoin, disperse, disregardful, do-nothing, dodge, dog it, doless, dopey, dormant, douse, down, downturn, drabbletailed, draff, draggled, draggletailed, dregs, dronish, drony, drooping, droopy, duck, duck duty, dull, dust, dwindling, ease, ease off, ease up, easy, easygoing, effete, ergophobic, etiolated, extinguish, faineant, faint, faintish, faltering, feeble, filings, flabby, flaccid, flagging, flapping, flat, floppy, foot-dragging, foul, free, frowzy, frumpish, frumpy, garbage, gash, gentle, get out of, give, goldbrick, gone, good-for-nothing, goof off, gradual, groggy, grubby, gutless, halting, hanging, heartless, heavy, hebetudinous, hobbling, hogwash, hopeless, husks, idle, imbecile, impotent, imprecise, in a stupor, in abeyance, in rags, in suspense, inactive, inactivity, inadvertent, inattentive, indifferent, indolent, inert, infirm, informal, insouciant, jump, lackadaisical, laggard, lagging, laissez-faire, languid, languorous, latent, lax, lazy, leaden, leave, leave loose ends, leave undone, leavings, lees, leisurely, lenient, lessening, let alone, let be, let dangle, let down, let go, let loose, let up, let up on, lethargic, lifeless, light, limber, limp, limping, lingering, listless, logy, loitering, loose, loose-moraled, loosen, looseness, lull, lumbering, lumpen, lustless, malinger, marrowless, messy, miss, mitigate, moderate, mussy, neglect, neglectful, neglecting, negligent, nerveless, nonaggressive, nonchalant, noninterfering, nonrestrictive, not pull fair, numb, numbed, of easy virtue, of loose morals, off, off-guard, offal, offscourings, omit, orts, otiose, out, overindulgent, overly permissive, overpermissive, parasitic, parings, pass over, pass up, passive, pause, permissive, phlegmatic, pithless, play, pluckless, poking, poky, pooped, potsherds, powerless, pretermit, procrastinate, procrastinating, procrastinative, procrastinatory, promiscuous, put out, quench, ragged, raggedy, rags, raspings, reduction, refuse, regardless, relax, relaxed, release, reluctant, remiss, remit, resigned, rickety, room, rubbery, ruinous, sagging, sapless, sauntering, scamping, scatter, scourings, scraggly, scrap iron, scraps, scrounging, scum, sedentary, seedy, shabby, shaky, shards, shavings, shiftless, shirk, shoddy, shuffling, sinewless, skimping, skip, skulk, slack off, slack up, slacken, slackening, slackness, slag, slake, slatternly, sleeping, slide out of, slighting, slip out of, slipshod, slop, sloppy, slops, slothful, slovenly, slow, slow as death, slow as molasses, slow as slow, slow down, slow up, slow-crawling, slow-foot, slow-going, slow-legged, slow-moving, slow-paced, slow-poky, slow-running, slow-sailing, slow-stepped, slow-up, sluggish, slumbering, slurring, sluttish, smoldering, smother, snail-paced, snaillike, sneak out of, snuff, snuff out, soft, soldier, soporific, sordid, spineless, spiritless, sponging, spunkless, squalid, staggering, stagnant, stamp out, standing, static, stifle, stoic, streaming, strengthless, strolling, stubble, stupefied, supine, suspended, sweepings, swill, tacky, tame, tares, tattered, tentative, tire, toddling, torpid, tortoiselike, tottering, trifle, trudging, turtlelike, unaroused, unbend, unbrace, uncaring, uncircumspect, unconcerned, unenterprising, unglue, unguarded, unhardened, unhurried, uninterested, unkempt, unlax, unleash, unneat, unnerved, unrestrained, unrigorous, unsightly, unsteady, unstick, unstrain, unstring, unstrung, untidy, untighten, unwary, unwatchful, unwind, waddling, wanton, wastage, waste, waste matter, wastepaper, wayward, weak, weaken, weakly, weeds, welsh, whorish, withdrawn, work-shy
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