Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to uptake: slow on the uptake

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

be quick on the uptake

To be able to grasp or understand things easily. She's pretty quick on the uptake, so I'm sure she'll figure out the directions you left her.
See also: on, quick, uptake

quick on the uptake

Able to grasp or understand something very quickly and easily. She's pretty quick on the uptake, so I'm sure she'll figure out the directions you left her. This is a fast-paced environment, so you'll need to be quick on the uptake from the moment you start the job.
See also: on, quick, uptake

slow on the uptake

Stupid or dimwitted; slow or unable to understand something. Jim's a little slow on the uptake, so you might want to check that he's following your instructions. I was always a bit slow on the uptake as a kid, so school was never my favorite place to be.
See also: on, slow, uptake
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

quick on the uptake

quick to understand or learn something. Just because I'm not quick on the uptake, it doesn't mean I'm stupid. Mary understands jokes before anyone else because she's so quick on the uptake.
See also: on, quick, uptake
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

be quick (or slow) on the uptake

be quick (or slow) to understand something. informal
See also: on, quick, uptake
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

be ˌquick/ˌslow on the ˈuptake

(informal) understand things quickly/understand even simple things with difficulty: He’s a very good worker but he’s a bit slow on the uptake sometimes. You have to explain everything twice.
See also: on, quick, slow, uptake
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Aside from the MMR jab, uptake of the HPV and Meningitis ACWY vaccines, which are both given to teenagers, was also down.
drying) as well as short-term variability (i.e., the effects of extreme events such as floods and droughts) on the ability of the land to uptake carbon.
The report said: "Surveys undertaken by Public Health England have had both poor response rates and have shown poor vaccine uptake results."
On post-therapeutic I-131 WBS, besides the lung metastases, an intense I-131 uptake was determined at the posterior upper zone of the right hemi-thorax (Figure 3).
Pattern of uptake and excretion of (18) F-FDG in lactating breast.
Plants may affect the efficiency of wastewater treatment through nutrients uptake and by the influence on microbial activity (Li et al., 2013).
(7) reported that of the 1158 patients who underwent PET/CT, 18 had abnormal FDG uptake in the larynx and hypopharynx.
Uptake will leverage the ASL to build not just static digital twins but learning digital twins that get better every day.
Despite the region leading the way in uptake of the flu jab, more than half the people in Dumfries and Galloway eligible for vaccination didn't take up the offer.
The investigators scanned 67 Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients using Pittsburgh compound B (PiB) uptake to detect amyloid-beta deposits and uptake of AV1451 to detect phosphorylated tau deposits.
After 12 weeks, glucose uptake in the brain increased more in the HIIT group.
The scan showed uptake in the left posterior thyroid bed and anteriorly at the level of the hyoid bone, both likely representing residual thyroid tissue.
In general, no increased uptake is observed in duodenal leiomyomas, which are benign tumors.
Based on his studies on the cognitive, interactionist, and sociocultural theories of learning, Ellis [31] proposed guidelines for teachers in providing CF, one of the most significant of which is the necessity of familiarity with and implementing various oral and written CF strategies, as well as creating appropriate space following the corrective move for learners so as to uptake the correction.
Seasonal uptake from the soil and use of nitrogen in grapevines has been examined in studies from numerous grapegrowing regions.