slow


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(as) slow as molasses

Exceptionally slow or sluggish; not fast at all. This old laptop my dad gave me is a piece of junk. It's as slow as molasses! Come on, Becky, you're slow as molasses back there! Pick up the pace and keep up with the group.
See also: molasses, slow

slowpoke

Someone who moves or does things in a particularly slow or sluggish manner; someone who is or has been dawdling. We're never going to finish our project by the deadline with this slowpoke weighing us down! Hurry up, slowpoke! We're not going to wait all day for you to catch up with us.

slow march

1. A slow but steady progression toward a particular end. We know now that Gladys has been on a slow march toward death—her condition is terminal. I'm afraid that, without any changes, the company is on a slow march toward bankruptcy.
2. A slower-paced, rhythmic piece of music originally used to accompany marching soldiers. We're rehearsing a slow march for the concert on Sunday.
See also: march, slow

be slow off the mark

To be slow to react or take action. He's too slow off the mark to be an effective emergency responder. You were a little slow off the mark on your last line. Come in a little bit sooner next time.
See also: mark, off, slow

be (a little) slow on the uptake

To struggle to understand something. This phrase is often used as a euphemism for stupidity. Joe's a nice kid, but tutoring him is a challenge because he's a little slow on the uptake, you know? That group is slow on the uptake, so I don't know if they'll ever understand how to use this fancy new printer.
See also: on, slow, uptake

(as) slow as molasses in January

Exceptionally slow or sluggish; not fast at all. (The addition of "January," which is among the coldest months in the Northern Hemisphere, serves to intensify the meaning, as molasses is especially viscous in the cold. This old laptop my dad gave me takes forever booting up, and then it's as slow as molasses in January the whole time I use it! Come on, Becky, you're slow as molasses in January back there! Pick up the pace and keep up with the group.
See also: January, molasses, slow

slow but sure

Slow or incremental but yielding steady, dependable progress. It's going to be slow but sure writing my thesis, as I have to balance my part-time job with my research. A: "Hey, how's the new novel coming along?" B: "It's been slow but sure."
See also: but, slow, sure

do a slow burn

To experience a feeling of anger that slowly worsens. Because I knew I would sound defensive if I said anything during the critique, I did a slow burn instead.
See also: burn, slow

slow and steady wins the race

Prov. If you work slowly but constantly, you will succeed better than if you work fast for a short while and do not continue. (Associated with Aesop's fable of "The Tortoise and the Hare.") Joy only had a little bit of time to spend sewing every day, but she worked steadily and soon had finished a beautiful quilt. Slow and steady wins the race.
See also: and, race, slow, steady, win

*slow as molasses in January

 and slower than molasses in January
very slow-moving. (*Also: as ~.) Can't you get dressed any faster? I declare, you're as slow as molasses in January. The traffic on the way to the concert was slower than molasses in January.
See also: January, molasses, slow

slow but sure

 and slowly but surely
slow but unstoppable. Bob's progress on his novel was slow but sure. Nancy is finishing the paint job on her house, slowly but surely.
See also: but, slow, sure

slow down

to decrease speed; to go slower. Please slow down. You are going too fast.
See also: down, slow

slow going

the rate of speed when one is making slow progress. It was slow going at first, but I was able to finish the project by the weekend. Getting the heavy rocks out of the field is slow going.
See also: going, slow

slow off the mark

 
1. Lit. slow in starting or reacting. (Compare this with quick off the mark.) If you are always that slow off the mark you will never win the race. Boy, you were slow off the mark there!
2. Fig. slow-witted. The guy's slow off the mark but very friendly. Yes, I'm afraid Tony is a bit slow off the mark when it comes to trigonometry.
See also: mark, off, slow

slow on the draw

 
1. Lit. slow in drawing a gun. (Cowboy and gangster talk.) Bill got shot because he's so slow on the draw. The gunslinger said, "I have to be fast. If I'm slow on the draw, I'm dead."
2. and slow on the uptake Fig. slow to figure something out; slow-thinking. Sally didn't get the joke because she's sort of slow on the draw. Billwho's slow on the uptakedidn't get the joke until it was explained to him.
See also: draw, on, slow

slow someone or something up

 and slow someone or something down
to cause someone or something to reduce speed. I'm in a hurry. Don't try to slow me down. Please slow up the train. There are sheep near the track.
See also: slow, up

slow study

a person who is slow to learn things. (Compare this to a slow study.) Fred, who is a slow study, never caught on to the joke.
See also: slow, study

slow up

to go slower; to reduce speed in order for someone or something to catch up. slow up a little! I can't keep up with you! Please slow up. I can't follow your lecture when you talk so fast.
See also: slow, up

take it slow

to go slowly and carefully. Just relax and take it slow. You've got a good chance. You'll make it. Take it slow and keep your spirits up.
See also: slow, take

on the uptake

In understanding or comprehension. This term is most often put as quick on the uptake, for readily understanding something, and slow on the uptake, for being slow to comprehend. For example, Shirley will have no trouble learning that new computer program-she's very quick on the uptake . It alludes to absorbing ("taking up") information. [Early 1800s]
See also: on, uptake

slow burn

Slowly increasing anger. It is often put as do a slow burn, meaning "gradually grow angrier," as in I did a slow burn when he kept me waiting for three hours. The burn in this idiom comes from burn up in the sense of "make furious." The term was first cited in 1938 and was closely associated with comedian Edgar Kennedy.
See also: burn, slow

slow but sure

Gradual or plodding but certain to finish, as in Slow but sure this book's getting written. This idiom was first recorded in 1562, although the idea is much older. A related phrase appears in the proverb slow and steady wins the race, which is the moral of Aesop's fable about the race between a tortoise and a hare, which stopped to nap during the race and therefore lost.
See also: but, slow, sure

slow down

1. Delay, retard, reduce speed, as in She slowed down the sled by dragging her foot, or Slow down, Bill; you're driving much too fast. [First half of 1800s] Also see slow up.
2. Become less active or vigorous, as in Now that I'm in my seventies I find I've slowed down quite a bit. [Second half of 1800s]
See also: down, slow

slow up

Slacken or cause to slacken in speed, as in The train slowed up as it approached the curve, or Come on, you're slowing me up. [Late 1800s] Also see slow down, def. 1.
See also: slow, up

a slow burn

A slow burn is a feeling or effect that develops gradually. In a single weekend the slow burn of public disgust turned into a bonfire. He promised a slow burn campaign over the next 18 months to support the idea of economic change. Note: In American English, people say that someone does a slow burn if they gradually become more and more angry. Wilson, sensing a challenge to his power, did a slow burn.
See also: burn, slow

life in the slow lane

Life in the slow lane, is a way of life which is relaxed and not very busy. Enjoyable cruising is all about life in the slow lane. They told their audience to chill out, kick back and enjoy life in the slow lane. Note: `Fast lane' and `slow lane' refer to the speed of traffic in the different lanes of a motorway.
See also: lane, life, slow

slow on the uptake

If someone is slow on the uptake, they take a long time to understand or realise things. It's not like you to be slow on the uptake, Grace. He is quite anxious sometimes, and a bit slow on the uptake. Note: You can say that someone is quick on the uptake to mean that they understand or realise things very quickly. He is quick on the uptake and knows exactly which points to pick up.
See also: on, slow, uptake

slow down

v.
1. To decrease the speed or rate of something: The chef slowed down the mixer and added some flour to the batter. We slowed the boat down as we entered the harbor.
2. To move, work, or happen at a slower rate: We slowed down so that we could read the road sign.
3. To delay someone or something; retard someone or something: An injury slowed down the runner. A virus has slowed my computer down.
See also: down, slow

slow up

v.
1. To delay someone or something; retard someone or something: Bad weather slowed up the project. The accident on the freeway slowed us up.
2. To move, work, or happen at a slower rate: Traffic slows up where the two freeways converge.
See also: slow, up

do a slow burn

tv. to be quietly angry. (see also slow burn.) I did a slow burn while I was getting my money back.
See also: burn, slow

slow burn

n. the act of becoming angry very slowly or being resentful for a long period of time. (see also do a slow burn.) His lips were pressed together and he was angry but just having a slow burn.
See also: burn, slow

take it slow

tv. to go slowly and carefully. Just relax and take it slow. You’ve got a good chance.
See also: slow, take

slow boat to China

A very long time. A poker players' expression for a player who constantly lost was “I'd like to get you on a slow boat to China,” meaning that the others would have all the time in the world to win the guy's money. Composer Frank Loesser used the phrase as the title and the first line of a 1948 romantic ballad, and the expression started being used as a compliment.
See also: boat, china, slow
References in periodicals archive ?
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Publications International is a premier publisher of 'slow cooker' cookbooks, each of which is superbly designed to be thoroughly 'kitchen cook friendly' in using a crock-pot or slow cooker approach to meal preparation.