Slacken vs Relax - What's the difference?

slacken | relax |

In lang=en terms the difference between slacken and relax

is that slacken is to make slack, less taut, or less intense while relax is to relieve (something) from stress.

As verbs the difference between slacken and relax

is that slacken is to gradually decrease in intensity or tautness; to become slack while relax is to calm down.




(en verb)
  • To gradually decrease in intensity or tautness; to become slack.
  • The pace slackened .
  • * 1900 , , The House Behind the Cedars , Chapter I,
  • During this interlude, Warwick, though he had slackened his pace measurably, had so nearly closed the gap between himself and them as to hear the old woman say, with the dulcet negro intonation:...
  • * 1908 ,
  • He seemed tired, and the Rat let him rest unquestioned, understanding something of what was in his thoughts; knowing, too, the value all animals attach at times to mere silent companionship, when the weary muscles slacken and the mind marks time.
  • To make slack, less taut, or less intense.
  • * 1986 , Mari Sandoz, The Horsecatcher?
  • Elk slackened the rope so he could walk farther away, and together they went awkwardly up the trail toward the grassy little flat...
  • To deprive of cohesion by combining chemically with water; to slake.
  • to slack lime






  • To calm down.
  • To make something loose.
  • to relax''' a rope or cord; to '''relax the muscles or sinews
  • * Milton
  • Horror all his joints relaxed .
  • To become loose.
  • To make something less severe or tense.
  • to relax''' discipline; to '''relax one's attention or endeavours
  • To become less severe or tense.
  • To make something (such as codes and regulations) more lenient.
  • * Jonathan Swift
  • The stature of mortmain was at several times relaxed by the legislature.
    , year=1953 , author=Edward Corwin , title=The Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation , chapter=Section 2. Jurisdiction citation , page=589 , passage=The Court rejected the contention that the doctrine of sovereign immunity should be relaxed as inapplicable to suits for specific relief as distinguished from damage suits, saying: "The Government, as representative of the community as a whole, cannot be stopped in its tracks by any plaintiff who presents a disputed question of property or contract right."}}
  • (of codes and regulations) To become more lenient.
  • To relieve (something) from stress.
  • Amusement relaxes the mind.
  • (dated) To relieve from constipation; to loosen; to open.
  • An aperient relaxes the bowels.


    * stress, excite

    Derived terms

    * relaxable


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