From Middle English slow, slaw, from Old English slāw (“sluggish, inert, slothful, late, tardy, torpid, slow”), from Proto-Germanic *slaiwaz (“blunt, dull, faint, weak, slack”), possibly from Proto-Indo-European *sleyH-u- (“bad”). Cognate with Scots slaw (“slow”), West Frisian sleau (“slow, dull, lazy”), Dutch sleeuw (“blunt, dull”), Low German slee (“dull, sluggish”), German schlehe, schleh (“dull, exhausted, faint”), Danish sløv (“dull, torpid, drowsy”), Swedish slö (“slack, lazy”), Icelandic sljór (“dim-witted, slow”).
slow (comparative slower, superlative slowest)
- Taking a long time to move or go a short distance, or to perform an action; not quick in motion; proceeding at a low speed.
- 2013 July 20, “The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
- Dotcom mania was slow in coming to higher education, but now it has the venerable industry firmly in its grip. Since the launch early last year of Udacity and Coursera, two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations.
- a slow train; a slow computer
- Not happening in a short time; spread over a comparatively long time.
- 1667, John Milton, “(please specify the book number)”, in Paradise Lost. […], London: […] [Samuel Simmons], […], →OCLC; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: […], London: Basil Montagu Pickering […], 1873, →OCLC:
- These changes in the heavens, though slow, produced / Like change on sea and land, sidereal blast.
- 2013 May-June, Charles T. Ambrose, “Alzheimer’s Disease”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3, page 200:
- Similar studies of rats have employed four different intracranial resorbable, slow sustained release systems—surgical foam, a thermal gel depot, a microcapsule or biodegradable polymer beads.
- Of reduced intellectual capacity; not quick to comprehend.
- 1994, Greg Daniels, “Secrets of a Successful Marriage”, in The Simpsons, season 5, episode 22, spoken by Carl (Hank Azaria):
- Hey, don't yell at Homer, just because he's a little slow.
- 1960, Dissertation Abstracts, volume 20, page 4007:
- Experienced classroom teachers are well acquainted with the attention-seeker, the shy girl, the aggressive boy, the poor concentrator, the slow student […]
- Not hasty; not tending to hurry; acting with deliberation or caution.
- 1999, Brian Paul Kaufman; K. Winston Caine, Prayer, Faith, and Healing: Cure Your Body, Heal Your Mind and Restore Your Soul:
- And even after the emotional cast comes off, we need to be slow about getting deeply involved in a relationship again
- 1611, The Holy Bible, […] (King James Version), London: […] Robert Barker, […], →OCLC, Proverbs xiv:29:
- He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding.
- (of a clock or the like) Behind in time; indicating a time earlier than the true time.
- That clock is slow.
- Lacking spirit; deficient in liveliness or briskness.
- (of a period of time) Not busy; lacking activity.
- It was a slow news day, so the editor asked us to make our articles wordier.
- I'm just sitting here with a desk of cards, enjoying a slow afternoon.
- (taking a long time to move a short distance): deliberate; moderate; see also Thesaurus:slow
- (not happening in a short time): gradual; see also Thesaurus:gradual
- (of reduced intellectual capacity): dull-witted; see also Thesaurus:stupid
- (acting with deliberation): careful, deliberate, prudent; see also Thesaurus:cautious
- (behind in time):
- (lacking spirit): boring, dilatory, dull, inactive, tardy, slothful, sluggish; see also Thesaurus:inactive or Thesaurus:boring
- (not busy): quiet, unbusy
- (taking a long time to move a short distance): fast, quick, rapid, swift; see also Thesaurus:speedy
- (not happening in a short time): abrupt, sudden; see also Thesaurus:sudden
- (of reduced intellectual capacity): keen, quick, quick-witted; see also Thesaurus:intelligent
- (acting with deliberation): hasty, precipitate, prompt; see also Thesaurus:prompt
- (behind in time): accurate, fast
- (lacking spirit): brisk, lively; see also Thesaurus:active
- (not busy): hectic
- dog slow
- slow and steady wins the race, slow but sure wins the race
- slow as a snail
- slow as molasses, slow as molasses in January
- slow as tar
- slow ball
- slow bowler
- slow burn
- slow clap
- slow cooker
- slow dance
- slow food
- slow-footed, slowfooted
- slow head
- slow lane
- slow march, slow-march
- slow match
- slow motion, slo-mo
- slow news day
- slow on the uptake
- slow oven
- slow pitch
- slow roll
- slow slicing
- slow speed control
- slow steaming
- slow street
slow (third-person singular simple present slows, present participle slowing, simple past and past participle slowed)
- (transitive) To make (something) run, move, etc. less quickly; to reduce the speed of.
- slow the process
- 2022 January 12, Benedict le Vay, “The heroes of Soham...”, in RAIL, number 948, page 42:
- As he passed though the station, he slowed to yell to the signalman, Frank 'Sailor' Bridges: "Sailor - have you anything between here and Fordham? Where's the mail?" Gimbert knew the mail train was due, and he didn't want to endanger another train with his burning bomb wagon.
- (transitive) To keep from going quickly; to hinder the progress of.
- slow the traffic
- (intransitive) To become slow; to slacken in speed; to decelerate.
- 2012, John Branch, “Snow Fall : The Avalanche at Tunnel Creek”, in New York Time:
- After about a minute, the creek bed vomited the debris into a gently sloped meadow. Saugstad felt the snow slow and tried to keep her hands in front of her.
- (keep from going quickly): delay, hinder, retard
- (become slow): decelerate, slacken
slow (plural slows)
slow (comparative slower, superlative slowest)
- That clock is running slow.
- I want to dance with you nice and slow
- 1594, William Shakespeare, Lucrece (First Quarto), London: […] Richard Field, for Iohn Harrison, […], →OCLC:
- Let him have time to mark how slow time goes / In time of sorrow.
slow m (plural slows)
- “slow”, in Trésor de la langue française informatisé [Digitized Treasury of the French Language], 2012.
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