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