slow march

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slow march (plural slow marches)

  1. (sometimes military) A controlled walking pace in a deliberate, steady, rhythmic manner.
    • 1849, Charlotte Brontë, Shirley, ch. 13:
      [T]he Rector emerged erect as a cane, from his garden, and proceeded in slow march, his hands behind him, down the cemetery.
    • c. 1851, Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu, "The Spectre Lovers" in Ghost Stories of Chapelizod:
      This was no other than a column of foot soldiers, marching with perfect regularity. . . . On they came at a slow march.
  2. (music) A march with a relatively slow tempo.
    • 1946 Jan. 21, "Music: Berlin Hit," Time:
      Germany's newest song hit was hummed in streetcars, in movie theaters and at political meetings. . . . Its slow march tune was catchy, and its lyrics fitted Berlin's melancholy mood.
  3. (idiomatic, by extension) A progression or unfolding of events which occurs in an unhurried, steady, deliberate manner.
    • 1835, James Fenimore Cooper, The Monikins, ch. 12:
      [S]ome spirits, more audacious than the rest, became restive under the slow march of events.
    • 1904, H. G. Wells, The Food of the Gods, ch. 1:
      "[T]he venerable order, the broad slow march from precedent to precedent that has made our English people great and this sunny island free—it is all an idle tale."
    • 2005 Oct. 17, Tom Dusevic, "Trust Me, I'm Fair," Time:
      For three decades, John Howard has been on a slow march to end centralized wage-fixing.