take up the slack

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take up the slack

To do an extra amount of work that someone else is unable or unwilling to do. I'm going to need you to take up the slack around the house when the baby arrives, because I'm going to literally have my hands full. The fourth member of our team has been totally unreliable, so the rest of us have had to take up the slack.
See also: slack, take, up

take up the slack

or

pick up the slack

INFORMAL
COMMON If someone or something takes up the slack or picks up the slack, they reduce the bad effect of something by providing something extra. With the export market in decline, it is hoped that the tourist trade will take up the slack. We have three members of staff absent and no one to pick up the slack. Note: If you take up the slack in a rope, you tighten it.
See also: slack, take, up

take (or pick) up the slack

1 pull on the loose end or part of a rope in order to make it taut. 2 use up a surplus or improve the use of resources to avoid an undesirable lull in business.
See also: slack, take, up

take up the ˈslack

improve the way money or people are used in an organization: The export market has failed to take up the slack in recent years, which has led to financial losses.
The slack is the part of a rope that is hanging loosely. If there is no slack, the rope is tight.
See also: slack, take, up