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Slack   /slæk/   Listen
Slack

noun
1.
Dust consisting of a mixture of small coal fragments and coal dust and dirt that sifts out when coal is passed over a sieve.
2.
A noticeable deterioration in performance or quality.  Synonyms: drop-off, falling off, falloff, slump.  "A gradual slack in output" , "A drop-off in attendance" , "A falloff in quality"
3.
A stretch of water without current or movement.  Synonym: slack water.
4.
A soft wet area of low-lying land that sinks underfoot.  Synonyms: mire, morass, quag, quagmire.
5.
The quality of being loose (not taut).  Synonym: slackness.
6.
A cord or rope or cable that is hanging loosely.



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"Slack" Quotes from Famous Books



... heart and core of the trade." Dr. Surtaine leaned forward, to tap with an earnest finger on his son's knee, a picture of expository enthusiasm. "Here's the theory. You see, along about March or April people begin to get slack-nerved and out-of-sortsy. They don't know what ails 'em, but they think there's something. Well, one look at that ad. sets 'em wondering if it isn't their kidneys. After wonder comes worry. He's ...
— The Clarion • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... few completed the course of which I have spoken without issuing therefrom reliable, seasoned fighters who could keep their heads in the most embarrassing of official positions, and at times when older and wiser men, distracted with the annoyances of life, had either abandoned everything or, grown slack and indifferent, had surrendered to the bribe-takers and the rascals. In short, no ex-pupil of Alexander Petrovitch ever wavered from the right road, but, familiar with life and with men, armed with the weapons of prudence, exerted a ...
— Dead Souls • Nikolai Vasilievich Gogol

... slack in London, it unfortunately occurred to me to try what I could do in the country. I had heard of Maplesworth as a place largely frequented by visitors on account of the scenery, as well as by invalids in need of taking the waters; and I opened a gallery there at the beginning of the season ...
— Little Novels • Wilkie Collins

... Burbage in the aforesaid lease, was reputed among his neighbors to be worth one thousand pounds at the least, and that after he had joined with the said Burbage in the matter of the building of the said Theatre, he began to slack his own trade, and gave himself to the building thereof, and the chief care thereof he took upon him, and hired workmen of all sorts for that purpose, bought timber and all other things belonging thereunto, and paid all. So as, in this deponent's conscience, he bestowed thereupon for his owne ...
— Shakespearean Playhouses - A History of English Theatres from the Beginnings to the Restoration • Joseph Quincy Adams

... sallow, slow-footed man, between twenty and forty. You would say he had been brought up a bushelman in Essex Street. When business is slack he likes to talk, so I had my hat cleaned even oftener than it deserved, hoping Finch might let me into some of the ...
— Options • O. Henry

... pleasant to us. The dirt, ground in till it became part of the texture; the worn cloth, shapeless, but yet molded to the man by long association—all was an expression of the stocky little soldier inside. The new khaki hung slack. Caps were overlarge for Flemish heads. To us, watching the change, it was the loss of the last possession that connected them with their past; with homes and country gone, now the very clothing that had ...
— Golden Lads • Arthur Gleason and Helen Hayes Gleason

... Sleepy, and soon had two packs in the sling ropes, a third on top, with all ready to lash. Rob asked no questions, but went on, taking slack and cinching ...
— The Young Alaskans on the Missouri • Emerson Hough

... In the slack time between the seasons, Isak smooths down some new tree-trunks he has thrown; to be used for something or other, no doubt. Also he digs out a number of useful stones and gets them down to the house; as soon as there are stones ...
— Growth of the Soil • Knut Hamsun

... ruddied; high bleak nose jutting out with a steep fall to the long upper lip; savage mouth under a straight blond fringe, a shark's keen tooth pointing at the dropped jaw. Arched forehead drooping to the spread ears, blond eyebrows drooping over slack lids. ...
— Mary Olivier: A Life • May Sinclair

... wooing and his presence had faded out of her imagination. She went slowly, until she, also instinctively, knew that she was safe, and then still she went slowly. Prince chose his own gait. Diana, with the reins slack in her hand, sat still and thought. There was no need for hurry; it was not near church time, not yet even church-going time; Will would be quiet for a while yet, before it would be necessary to make any hue-and-cry after the runaway; and she and Prince would be far ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... work is slack and members are unemployed, will advocate shorter hours at the same rate of pay so as to make room for their ...
— The Sequel - What the Great War will mean to Australia • George A. Taylor

... recollect distinctly the general make-up of the train. The train was composed of coach bodies, mostly from Thorpe and Sprague's stage coaches, placed upon trucks. The trucks were coupled together with chains, leaving from two to three feet slack, and when the locomotive started it took up the slack by jerks, with sufficient force to jerk the passengers who sat on seats across the tops of the coaches, out from under their hats, and in stopping, ...
— The Railroad Builders - A Chronicle of the Welding of the States, Volume 38 in The - Chronicles of America Series • John Moody

... hearts, and both of them sought the Lord for forgiveness of their sins, and both entered into the grace of conversion. The joy of this experience made their Bible study still more delightful. They had not been strangers to grace, but they had become slack and lukewarm, and when the light of God began to shine more brightly they felt that they should make sure work of it, and so they began at the bottom round of the ladder. They were glad afterwards that they had done this, because it ...
— Around Old Bethany • Robert Lee Berry

... toward us at a brisk canter and the drum turned fast, taking up the slack of the tether; but, as though not satisfied with this rate of progress, several soldiers were running back and jumping up to haul in the rope. The sergeant who took care of the telephone was hard put to it to coil down the twin wires. ...
— Paths of Glory - Impressions of War Written At and Near the Front • Irvin S. Cobb

... The slack sail shifts from side to side, The boat, untrimm'd, admits the tide, Borne down, adrift, at random tost, The oar breaks short, ...
— Rob Roy, Complete, Illustrated • Sir Walter Scott

... If I like, I can dae my darg wi' ony man,' he replied rather ironically. 'Pit oot the kale, Leezbeth, or we'll be burnt to daith. Are ye slack yersel' that ye can come ower here at wan o'clock in ...
— The Guinea Stamp - A Tale of Modern Glasgow • Annie S. Swan

... of Cap'n Amazon, however, quite overtopped the gossip about Louise. Idlers who seldom dropped into the store before afternoon came on this day much earlier to have a look at Cap'n Amazon Silt. Women left their housework at "slack ends" to run over to the store for something considered suddenly essential to their work. Some of the clam-diggers lost a tide to obtain an early glimpse of Cap'n Amazon. Even the children came and peered in at the store door to see that strange, ...
— Cap'n Abe, Storekeeper • James A. Cooper

... heard a deep groan, and before he could even look up the master's mate fell forward, shot through the head. His boat took the lead. "Now's your time," cried Dick Rogers; "we'll be the first aboard, lads." The crew were not slack to follow the suggestion. In another moment they were up to the schooner, and, leaping on her deck, led by Pearce, laid on them so fiercely with their cutlasses that the Frenchmen, deserting their guns, sprang ...
— The Grateful Indian - And other Stories • W.H.G. Kingston

... would lightly adventure the pestilential perils of a tropic stream, or fever-haunted water-way or canal, who would yet shrink from being caught—owing to want of care, and cautious calculation as to the exact hours of slack and safety—by the hideous, irresistible, all-engulfing, all-wrecking whirl of the terrifying Stroem! Once drawn within the down-draught of that hideous vortex, a whole army might be destroyed more certainly than even by the manifold death-dealing contrivances of modern science, ...
— Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, January 28, 1893 • Various

... her companions, and she felt a pang of dread lest that difference should ever grow less. While she affected to read one of the magazines which lay on a side table, she was really occupied making a number of vehement resolutions: Never to slack in her care of her personal appearance; never to give up brushing her hair at night; never to wear a flannel blouse; never to give up manicuring her hands; never, no, never to allow herself to grow short-sighted, and be obliged ...
— The Independence of Claire • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... most important matters of internal improvement now confronting the Government. Most of the navigable rivers of this country are comparatively long and shallow. In order that they may be made fully useful for navigation there has come into vogue a method of improvement known as canalization, or the slack-water method, which consists in building a series of dams and locks, each of which will create a long pool of deep navigable water. At each of these dams there is usually created also water power of commercial value. If the water power thus created ...
— State of the Union Addresses of William H. Taft • William H. Taft

... was not in the entrance hall at the time from eight to nine. It is usually a slack time ...
— The Master Detective - Being Some Further Investigations of Christopher Quarles • Percy James Brebner

... for rain when The tree frog cries. Fish swim near the surface. Walls are unusually damp. Flies are troublesome and sting sharply. A slack rope tightens. Smoke beats downward. Sun is red in the morning. There is a ...
— Camping For Boys • H.W. Gibson

... Her hunchbacked Little Commodore is dead. The other two of her old crew, George Widger and Looby Smith are nowhere to be seen: they must be nearly grown up by now. The fishermen themselves appear less picturesque and salty than they used to do. It is slack time after a bad herring season. They are dispirited and lazy, and ...
— A Poor Man's House • Stephen Sydney Reynolds

... the lieutenant, "I will tell you my secret. As soon as the officer I relieve is gone below and out of sight, while the watch is mustering, I walk forward, look round at things generally, and say casually to the captain of the forecastle: 'Just slack off a little of this jib-sheet.' Then about ten minutes before eight bells, after the last log of the watch has been hove, while the men are rousing to go below, I go forward again and say, 'Come here, ...
— From Sail to Steam, Recollections of Naval Life • Captain A. T. Mahan

... for a moment slack my speed, and I had now gained the centre point between the park-gate and the mansion-house. Here the avenue made a wider circuit, and in order to avoid delay, I directed my way across the smooth sward round which ...
— The Purcell Papers - Volume II. (of III.) • Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

... testified from heaven how certain and possible it is, though many have found it in experience and left it on record to others, there is so slender belief of the reality and certainly of it, and so slack pursuit of it, as if we did not believe it at all. Truly, my beloved, there is a great mistake in this, and it is general too. All men apprehend other things more feasible and attainable than personal holiness and happiness in it, but truly, ...
— The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning • Hugh Binning

... to her disgust, found that her eyes were blurring up with tears. She was a little bit slack and ...
— The Real Adventure • Henry Kitchell Webster

... that the rich are surrounded with lies in which they themselves believe. Thus, in the last phase, there are no parasites but only friends, no gifts but only loans, which are more esteemed favours than gifts once were. No one vicious but only tedious, and no one a poltroon but only slack. ...
— First and Last • H. Belloc

... the passing of her vision Dinah never fully knew, so slack had become her grip upon material things. Her spirit seemed to be wandering aimlessly about the mountain-side while her body lay in icy chains within that miserable shelter. Of Isabel's presence she was no longer even dimly aware, and she knew neither fear nor pain, only a wide desolation ...
— Greatheart • Ethel M. Dell

... leaned and peered into the face of Miguel, his jaw hanging slack. "You don't mean to ...
— Flying U Ranch • B. M. Bower

... due partly to the debilitating heat of the new habitat, partly to its easier conditions of living, whether the intruders came as conquerors and appropriated the fat of the land, or as immigrant colonists who dropped into slack methods of agriculture, because rain and sun and soil made their reluctant labor scarcely necessary. Everywhere in the Tropics the enervating effects of heat, moisture, and abundance make not only the natives ...
— Influences of Geographic Environment - On the Basis of Ratzel's System of Anthropo-Geography • Ellen Churchill Semple

... display their acquirements to the wondering throng. We have known bears of undoubted ability who, when the expectations of a large audience have been wound up to the utmost pitch, have peremptorily refused to dance; well-taught monkeys, who have unaccountably objected to exhibit on the slack wire; and elephants of unquestioned genius, who have suddenly declined to turn the barrel-organ; but we never once knew or heard of a biped lion, literary or otherwise,—and we state it as a fact which ...
— Sketches by Boz - illustrative of everyday life and every-day people • Charles Dickens

... oilcoth in the hall, and he smelt the smell of stale cooking which floated through the green lattice door at the back. All the sweetness of life, all the beauty, all the decency even, seemed strangled in that smell as if in some malarial air. And in the midst of it, the unkempt, slack figure of Belinda, with her bitter eyes and her sagging skirt, passed perpetually under the flickering gas-jet up and down the dimly lighted staircase. This was how one marriage had ended—one marriage among many which had started out with passion and courage and the belief in happiness. Knowing ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... winding the raw silk, putting a large number of ends together, giving them a slack twist, then doubling and twisting in the reverse direction ...
— Textiles • William H. Dooley

... possible when by constant trials the chance came of each being given good or fair handhold at once. Then came a shriek of wind and a blown-out lull and a wrinkle lapsed into a fold. We shouted "Now!" left hold of the jack-stay, and with feet outstretched grabbed slack canvas and hung on as another squall came singing like shrapnel across the peaks of the leaping sea. "Hold on now, hold on!" so sang all of us, and we cursed each other furiously. "Oh, oh, you miserable devil, hang on or it's lost again!" We cursed ourselves, felt ...
— A Tramp's Notebook • Morley Roberts

... for he drew the rope in slowly, till the slack was all gathered in, tightened it more and more, and the loop glided ...
— The Crystal Hunters - A Boy's Adventures in the Higher Alps • George Manville Fenn

... being aggressively active towards the world which gives man a miraculous assurance that the world is something he can make. In creative moments men always draw upon "some secret spring of certainty, some fundamental well into which no disturbing glimmers penetrate." But this is no slack philosophy, for the chance is denied by which we can lie back upon the perfection of some mechanical contrivance. Yet in the light of it government becomes alert to a process of continual creation, an unceasing invention of forms to meet ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... And heavy hangs each unstrung limb, 'Tis sweet through smoke-puffs, wreathing slow, To watch the firelight flash or glow. As each soft cloud floats up on high, Some worry takes its wings to fly; And Fancy dances with the flame, Who lay so labor-crammed and lame; While the spent Will, the slack Desire, Re-kindle at the dying fire, And burn to meet the morrow's sun With all its day's work ...
— Pipe and Pouch - The Smoker's Own Book of Poetry • Various

... tiger" provides a rendezvous for all the outcasts of society. "Boot-legging" is a common subsidiary occupation for the pander, the thief and the cracksman. Where it flourishes, it serves to bridge over many a period of slack trade. Franchises whose validity is subject to political attack, bring to the aid of the underworld some of the most powerful interests in the community. The police are almost helpless when confronted by a coalition of persons of wealth and respectability ...
— The Unpopular Review, Volume II Number 3 • Various

... served as the boom or cross-spar. The spars were cut to proper length, and the sail was then tied on, as illustrated, with the crotch of the cross-spar fitted against and tied to the center of the mast. A light rope, long enough to provide plenty of slack, was tied to the ends of the mast to assist in guiding the sail when in use. In the meantime I had procured another sheet from one of our neighbors, and Bill helped me make a sail for myself. It was not until long after dark that we ...
— The Scientific American Boy - The Camp at Willow Clump Island • A. Russell Bond

... at the bottom of a flight of steps, watching the continuous stream of descending passengers, mostly women, and generally young. Some among the less young were swollen, heavy, and awkward; most were slack, drooping, limp, bony, or bent; a few were lithe and lissom; one or two had the emotional vivacity and muscular tone of abounding vitality. Not one plainly indicated that, stripped of her clothing, she would have transformed those Underground ...
— Impressions And Comments • Havelock Ellis

... twice essay to speak. Twice I stop, choked. How can I put into words the insult I have received? How can I reveal to him the slack levity, the careless looseness, with which I have kept the honor ...
— Nancy - A Novel • Rhoda Broughton

... on his horse, as he usually did, his left hand holding a slack rein, his right resting on his hip, with bent head and dreamy eyes, he made his first steps along that incline, at once glorious and fatal, which was to lead him to a ...
— The Companions of Jehu • Alexandre Dumas

... to-night, that but for me you would be riding yonder. I realized all you meant, and you must not remain. The guard-lines are slack to-night, and you can get through, but if you wait until to-morrow it may be too late. Believe me, I am your friend, ...
— My Lady of Doubt • Randall Parrish

... When some mens' slaves was caught on another man's place he was allowed to whoop them and send them home and they would git another whooping. Some men wouldn't allow that; they said they would tend to their own slaves. So many men had to leave home to go to war times got slack. ...
— Slave Narratives: A Folk History of Slavery in the United States - Volume II. Arkansas Narratives. Part I • Work Projects Administration

... came the answer. "It will run out the cable and down the cab. I've left them plenty of slack to move around when they ...
— The Thirst Quenchers • Rick Raphael

... House, and pointed out the shabbiness of the chintz and faded carpets. The garden, she said, was shamefully neglected, and she could not conceive how people could bear to let a decent place like this go to ruin. 'But he's a slack creature, Gerald ...
— Franklin Kane • Anne Douglas Sedgwick

... cranked the wheel with a sharp, expert turn. The explosions settled into a dull, regular succession, and he coupled the propeller and slowly maneuvered the ketch up over the anchors, reducing the strain on the hawsers and allowing Halvard to get in the slack. He waited impatiently for the sailor's cry of all clear, and demanded the cause of ...
— Wild Oranges • Joseph Hergesheimer

... they managed to rid themselves of their armour, and then held on with ease to the rope. They hauled the bucket to the surface and tied a knot in the slack of the rope, so that the bucket hung four feet below the level of the water. Putting their feet in this, they were able to stand with their heads ...
— Saint George for England • G. A. Henty

... a thing as slack tide in the affairs of men, when a crisis seems as if it would never come, and all things stagnate. The Law Courts had as yet not concerned themselves about the will, vacation time had come and all was at a ...
— Magnum Bonum • Charlotte M. Yonge

... legs, dived under swimming dogs, made bold dashes along the bank, and hidden in belts of reeds. Its capture had often looked certain and yet it had escaped. At first Grace had noticed the animal's confidence, beauty of form, and strength; but it had gradually got slack, hesitating, and limp. Now, when it lurked, half-drowned, in the depths of the pool while its pitiless enemies waited for it to come up to breathe, she began to wish ...
— The Buccaneer Farmer - Published In England Under The Title "Askew's Victory" • Harold Bindloss

... the best gun of Jimmie Time; in the other—there seemed to be a well-gripped connection with the slack of a buckskin shirt—writhed the alleged real doughnuts of a possibly Peruvian character. The captor looked aloft and remained vocal, waving the gun, waving Jimmie Time, playing them together as cymbals, never loosening ...
— Somewhere in Red Gap • Harry Leon Wilson

... issues. The main fact stands out above them. We have been steadily adding to the burdens on industrial and commercial equipment; even more have we increased the stresses and the strains on human life. A devastating war is now suddenly taking up the slack, and the slow and painful task of making the world efficient must be hastened in order that society may bear the load. In these circumstances we need not apologize for making efficiency the main support of business standards. Nor need we assume, as does the author ...
— Higher Education and Business Standards • Willard Eugene Hotchkiss

... sequestred from the court? No notice? shall I not know the cause Of these my secret and suspitious ils? Accursed brother! vnkinde murderer! Why bends thou thus thy minde to martir me? Hieronimo, why writ I of they wrongs, Or why art thou so slack in thy reuenge? Andrea! O Andrea, that thou sawest Me for thy freend Horatio handled thus, And him for me thus causeles murdered! Well, force perforce, I must constraine my-selfe To patience, and apply me to the time, Till Heauen, as I haue hoped, ...
— The Spanish Tragedie • Thomas Kyd

... them in his own, caressing them, kissing them. Would it be possible to forget them, to reconcile oneself to them? He must think—must get away from these crowded streets where faces seemed to grin at him. He remembered that Parliament had just risen, that work was slack in the office. He would ask that he might take his holiday now—the next day. ...
— Malvina of Brittany • Jerome K. Jerome

... hour's sleep. Firing began just after daylight. It was slack for some time, but the Boers crept round. Then the firing became furious. Our men ...
— South Africa and the Transvaal War, Vol. 2 (of 6) - From the Commencement of the War to the Battle of Colenso, - 15th Dec. 1899 • Louis Creswicke

... been deeply shaken and very much in earnest; but he was never the man to give for any lengthy while too slack a rein to emotion; and so he now sat down upon the bench and lighted a cigarette and smiled. Yet he fully recognized himself to be the most enviable of men and an inhabitant of the most glorious world imaginable—a ...
— The Certain Hour • James Branch Cabell

... or"—he gulped the words down that should have followed. "Especially when you see 'em walking a roof-top, right again the sky, when a cat, as is a proper cat, is sure to stick her tail stiff out behind, like a slack-rope dancer a-balancing; but these cats having no tail, cannot stick it out, which captivates some people uncommonly. If yo'll allow me, I'll bring one for Miss there," jerking his head at Margaret. Job assented ...
— Mary Barton • Elizabeth Gaskell

... close to the water was Chris flat on his back, his mouth open, fast asleep. A half dozen fine bass lay on the grass beside him, the end of his fishing line was tied to one ebony leg, and a coil of slack line ...
— The Boy Chums in the Forest - or Hunting for Plume Birds in the Florida Everglades • Wilmer M. Ely

... was slack, I would walk far afield with Diana for my companion, or we would jog to market with the Tinker in the four-wheeled cart, hearkening to his shrewd animadversions upon men and life in general; and ...
— Peregrine's Progress • Jeffery Farnol

... give em anything. Truth of it was they didn't have much to keep less givin' the niggers something. We all had little to eat and wear and a plenty wood to burn and a house to shelter us. The work didn't slack up none. The fences down, the outhouses had to have more boards tack on. No stock cept a scrub or so. We had no garden seed cept what be borrowed round and raised. Times was hard. We had biscuits bout once a week, ...
— Slave Narratives: a Folk History of Slavery in the United States From Interviews with Former Slaves - Arkansas Narratives Part 3 • Works Projects Administration

... watched, with infantile delight, the blast of the furnace, and the shower of sparks that fell from the anvil, and where she often slept, lulled by the monotonous chorus of trip and sledge. As she grew older, the mystery of bellows and slack-tub engaged her attention, and at one end of the shop, on a pile of shavings, she collected a mass of curiously shaped bits of iron and steel, and blocks of wood, from which a miniature shop threatened to rise in rivalry; and finally, when strong enough ...
— St. Elmo • Augusta J. Evans

... meals; wet and cold, heat and wind and tempest, and no great gains at last. But the sturgeon fishers, who come later and are seen the whole summer through, have an indolent, lazy time of it. They fish around the 'slack-water,' catching the last of the ebb and the first of the flow, and hence drift but little either way. To a casual observer they appear as if anchored and asleep. But they wake up when they have a 'strike,' which may be every day, or not ...
— The Hudson - Three Centuries of History, Romance and Invention • Wallace Bruce

... British who survived to desert the hard work against Napoleon for the easier, safer, and better paid work under the Stars and Stripes; while the mere want of any enemy to fight for the command of the sea after Trafalgar had tended to make the British get slack. ...
— Flag and Fleet - How the British Navy Won the Freedom of the Seas • William Wood

... presented was one in which it required a very clear sense of higher duty to act against habit. Generally, after wavering awhile, they obeyed and returned. The Roman States, which had received them with so many testimonials of affection and honor, on their retreat were not slack to show a correspondent aversion and contempt. The towns would not suffer their passage; the hamlets were unwilling to serve them even with fire and water. They were filled at once with shame and rage; ...
— At Home And Abroad - Or, Things And Thoughts In America and Europe • Margaret Fuller Ossoli

... first place, don't be slack in anything that you are doing. Whether it be work or play, do it with all your might. You will find that this great Empire can only be maintained by the exercise of self-denial, by training, by discipline, and ...
— Boys' Book of Famous Soldiers • J. Walker McSpadden

... Carleton proposed to work chiefly through their old leaders, the seigneurs and the clergy. He would restore to the people their old system of laws, both civil and criminal. He would confirm the seigneurs in their feudal dues and fines, which the habitants were growing slack in paying now that the old penalties were not enforced, and he would give them honors and emoluments such as they had before enjoyed as officers in regular or militia regiments. The Roman Catholic clergy were already, in fact, confirmed in their right to tithe and ...
— The Canadian Dominion - A Chronicle of our Northern Neighbor • Oscar D. Skelton

... of yesterday morning, the Vindictive groped her way through the smoke-screen and headed for the entrance, it was as though the old fighting-ship awoke and looked on. A coastal motor-boat had visited her and hung a flare in her slack and rusty rigging; and that eye of unsteady fire, paling in the blaze of the star-shells or reddening through the drift of the smoke, watched the whole great enterprise, from the moment when it hung in doubt ...
— World's War Events, Volume III • Various

... the noise and faltered—he knew instinctively. Something told him with the bellowing assurance of a cannon who was there. He must look. He forced his slack face past the granite image that was his employer, saw a serge-clad figure that he knew, one ear and the curve of a cheek. Then a cascade broke inside his head. It buzzed and chattered and crashed, with now and again the blank brutality of thunder bashing through ...
— Here are Ladies • James Stephens

... the various barges, shallops and canoes tied to the mossy piles, left their employments and scrambled up upon the platform, and a trio of youthful darkies, fishing for crabs with a string and a piece of salt pork, allowed their lines to fall slack and their intended victims to walk coolly off with the meat, so intense was their interest in the oncoming sail. A knot of negro women had left the great house kitchen and stood, hands on hips, chatting volubly with a contingent from the quarters, their red and yellow turbans ...
— Prisoners of Hope - A Tale of Colonial Virginia • Mary Johnston

... boys above to cling tightly to the rope and to pay it out slowly, Nestor slid swiftly downward until the slack of the line was gone, and was then brought up with a quick jerk, with the still slipping boy's head a foot away from his hands. He whirled about and dropped ...
— Boy Scouts in Mexico; or On Guard with Uncle Sam • G. Harvey Ralphson

... referred to his position as overseer of mines here at Halsetown. Hither Irving was brought in his fourth year, and his memories of Cornwall remained vivid to his dying day. "I recall Halsetown," he said, "as a village nestling between sloping hills, bare and desolate, disfigured by great heaps of slack from the mines, and with the Knill monument standing prominent as a landmark to the east. It was a wild and weird place, fascinating in its own peculiar beauty, and taking a more definite shape in ...
— The Cornwall Coast • Arthur L. Salmon

... Paul strode over to the tent where a quantity of the provisions were kept. Entering this, he quickly saw that it was exactly as he had suggested. Three of the tent pins, which the boys had pounded down with the camp axe, had been pulled up, and this slack allowed the intruder to crawl under the ...
— The Banner Boy Scouts Afloat • George A. Warren

... "sharpens them, prevents them from being heavy and lazy, makes them active, brisk, industrious, imparts strength, and helps them to shoot well with the bow; without it the Indians would always be slack and rather sickly, would always have a little fever, and would lie perpetually in their hammocks. As for the women, the marake keeps them from going to sleep, renders them active, alert, brisk, gives them strength and a liking for work, makes them good housekeepers, good workers at the stockade, ...
— Balder The Beautiful, Vol. I. • Sir James George Frazer

... one another and nodded to the man on the end of the first bunk; and he, shifting a quid of tobacco to the slack of his right cheek, expectorated gravely into the ...
— The Gringos • B. M. Bower

... Misther skealmaisther, the evenin' is desperate fine, I thowt I wad gie ye a call aboot that young sonnie o' mine. I couldn't persuade him to come, sea I left him behont(1) me at yam,(2) Bud somehoo it's waintly(3) possess'd me to mak a skealmaisther o' Sam. He's a kind of a slack-back, ye knaw, I niver could get him to work, He scarcelins wad addle(4) his saut wiv a ploo, or a shovel, or fork. I've tried him agean an' agean, bud I finnd that he's nea use at yam, Sea me an' my missus agreed to mak a skealmaisther o' Sam. If I sends him to wark, why, ...
— Yorkshire Dialect Poems • F.W. Moorman

... when he appeared with the tray and lit my candle; and I had breakfasted and read (with indescribable sinkings) the whole of yesterday's work before the sun had risen. Then I sat and thought, and sat and better thought. It was not good enough, nor good; it was as slack as journalism, but not so inspired; it was excellent stuff misused, and the defects stood gross on it like humps upon a camel. But could I, in my present disposition, do much more with it? in my present pressure for time, were I not better employed doing another one about ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 25 (of 25) • Robert Louis Stevenson

... long slender threads of spider webs clinging to the leaves of the birches by the burnside, and the bracken green and strong, with the white cuckoo spittals on them that will leave a mark like froth on the knees of a horse. To the pebbly ford above the "Waulk Mill" came Bryde, riding loosely with slack rein, for he was thinking much these days. In the burn his horse halted to drink, and then rested a little from the water—his head high and his ears forward—Bryde looking to his path for the South End, for ...
— The McBrides - A Romance of Arran • John Sillars

... evenly, as far as he could see,—not slanting either up or down; so that the sill of the upper window must be about upon a level with the great knob in the beech-trunk. Oliver tied knot upon knot, till no more rope was left to knot. It still hung too slack, if it was meant for a bridge. He did not think he could ever cross the water on a rope that would keep him dangling at every move: but he had pulled it tight with all his force, and he could do no more. When he had tied the last knot, he and Mildred stood in front of ...
— The Settlers at Home • Harriet Martineau

... all of them lost their former virtues. The neurotic temper of the times is known to all. The nation, as was shown in 1745, when a handful of Highlanders penetrated without opposition to the heart of the kingdom, has grown slack and cowardly. Gambling penetrates every nook and cranny of the upper class; the officers of the army devote themselves to fashion; the navy's main desire is for prize money. Even the domestic affections are at a low ebb; and the grand tour brings back a new species of Italianate Englishman. The ...
— Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham • Harold J. Laski

... were sold the three Giant Hotels of Giants' Bay. The bidding was very slack, but we understand the lots were eventually knocked down to a dealer ...
— Boycotted - And Other Stories • Talbot Baines Reed

... fast with plenty of slack to the rope in case the tide should rise high, he got out and then he and Percival ascended the first slope, helping ...
— The Hilltop Boys on Lost Island • Cyril Burleigh

... notch with a small round file in each tip half an inch from each extremity, running the groove straight across the 'back,' and slanting it across the sides away from the tips toward the middle or handle of the bow. Make a strong string of slack-twisted shoe-maker's thread, with a loop in each end, so that when the string is put on the bow by slipping the loops into the nocks, it will bend the bow so much that the middle of the string is five inches from the handle. If the bow when thus bent is ...
— Harper's Young People, July 6, 1880 - An Illustrated Weekly • Various

... where workmen find work. At first he had the fixed idea that he must only work because he was a carpenter, but at every carpenter's shop where he applied he was told that they had just dismissed men on account of work being so slack, and finding himself at the end of his resources, he made up his mind to undertake any job that he might come across on the road. And so by turns he was a navvy, stableman, stone sawer; he split wood, lopped the branches ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... dissolved; and if perhaps any more Faeces remain, they will be very few, cast them away, for they are good for nothing. Put the Solution into a glass-Gourd, with a Head luted upon it, set it into Balneum Mariae, with its receiver to take the Spirits, distil slowly with a slack heat, till all the Spirit of Wine be come over, pour it in again upon the dry matter, draw it off again as before; this pouring in & abstracting continue so often, till you see the Spirit of Wine ascend over the helm in various colours, then it is time that you follow it with a strong ...
— Of Natural and Supernatural Things • Basilius Valentinus

... opportunity to see some of their comrades dropping with moans and shrieks. A few lay under foot, still or wailing. And now for an instant the men stood, their rifles slack in their hands, and watched the regiment dwindle. They appeared dazed and stupid. This spectacle seemed to paralyze them, overcome them with a fatal fascination. They stared woodenly at the sights, and, lowering their eyes, looked from face to face. It was a strange ...
— The Red Badge of Courage - An Episode of the American Civil War • Stephen Crane

... when a woman with child in the ninth month bringeth forth her son, with two or three hours of her birth great pains compass her womb, which pains, when the child cometh forth, they slack not ...
— Deuteronomical Books of the Bible - Apocrypha • Anonymous

... there soon after the doors were open. There were not many clients present, and the clerks were enjoying a slack time. Jack had recalled to his mind the exact date of his former visit; and thus the sole difficulty was overcome. The clerk found the name of Ellen Martineau entered under that date ...
— The Doctor's Dilemma • Hesba Stretton

... classification of prisoners is one based on the length of sentence. Some imperfect attempt is made to separate those waiting trial from the recidivist or hardened offender, but too often the association is indiscriminate. Prison discipline is generally slack and ineffective, the staff of warders, from ill-judged economy, too weak to supervise or control. The officers themselves are of inferior stamp, drunken, untrustworthy, overbearing, much given to "trafficking" with the prisoners, accepting bribes to assist escape, quick to misuse ...
— Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, Volume 8, Slice 2 - "Demijohn" to "Destructor" • Various

... his chest, in a voice like a deep-toned bell. His arms hung slack at his sides, but the muscles stood out on them ...
— The Tidal Wave and Other Stories • Ethel May Dell

... whose lack of conscience is back of all manner of crimes, from murder down to careless, slack work; whose cruelty, lust, and selfishness operate unhampered by restraint. On the other hand there are others whose hypertrophied conscience works in one of two directions. If they are zealots, ...
— The Nervous Housewife • Abraham Myerson

... market than last week, but a good demand continues for the home trade, and occasionally a small advance upon the last July rates is paid on such sorts suitable for that branch, but there is almost no demand for export, the consumption of the article in foreign countries being this year unusually slack. The shipments to Russia, since the opening of the season, amount to only 2,209 chests, against 3,439 chests during the same time last year. A public sale was held yesterday, in Liverpool, of about 400 chests of East India, and 120 ...
— The Economist - Volume 1, No. 3 • Various

... little sorry about his own lack of ambition and want of application. He did not pretend now that it was of no moment. He told her he would like to achieve, only somehow he always found his attention wander to other things, and his desire grow slack after a week ...
— Winding Paths • Gertrude Page

... English blue-eyed type. Just then it was suffused with almost boyish merriment, and indeed an irresponsible gaiety was a salient characteristic of the man. One would have called him handsome, though his mouth was a trifle slack, and there was a certain assurance in his manner that just fell short of swagger. He was the kind of man one likes at first sight, but for all that not the kind his hard-bitten neighbours would have chosen to stand by them through the strain ...
— Hawtrey's Deputy • Harold Bindloss

... there once myself, but they sent me to Winchester instead. It was partly through me that he got his berth here, though not much to thank me for, I am afraid. Sixty pounds a year and his rations isn't much for a man who has been at Cambridge. But even that he could not get in the navy when the slack time came last year. He held no commission, like many other fine young fellows, but had entered as a first-class volunteer. And so he had no rating when this vile peace was patched up—excuse me, my dear, what I meant to say was, when the blessings of tranquillity ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... ground, to rest. Trevison had meditated, not without a certain wry humor, upon the strength and the protracted potency of Manti's whiskey, for not once during his home-coming had Levins shown the slightest sign of returning consciousness. He was as slack as a meal sack now, as Trevison lifted him from the pony's back and let him slip gently to the ground at his feet. A few minutes later, Trevison was standing in the doorway of the cabin, his burden over his shoulder, the weak glare ...
— 'Firebrand' Trevison • Charles Alden Seltzer

... his later years are, however, worthy of more special mention—a tour up the Rhine, which he took in 1828, in company with Wordsworth and his daughter; and, some years earlier, a meeting with John Keats. "A loose, slack, not well dressed youth," it is recorded in the Table Talk, published after his death by his nephew, "met Mr.———" (it was Mr. Green, of whom more hereafter) "and myself in a lane near Highgate. Green knew him and spoke. It was Keats. He was introduced ...
— English Men of Letters: Coleridge • H. D. Traill

... word. It is adding insult to injury to use it. And what can he mean? He seemed so keen about the order. Said he was so slack that he would be able to put on all ...
— The Lady of the Basement Flat • Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey

... beggar-woman stealing into a palace. She felt out of her element in those big theaters, where she had not appeared for ever so long, having come down to the level of one-horse circuses, patched canvas tents, acrobatic performances in the open air, on the slack-wire stretched from tree to tree. Lily looked a princess beside her, really. Ave Maria was even surprised to see her address a gentleman who was there: it was the architect, with a bandage over his eye. Ave Maria recognized him; and he, rendered prudent by the blow ...
— The Bill-Toppers • Andre Castaigne

... brothers scattered forever. The voice of hate was whispering that the "classes" would ride down the children of the poor, and with this gloomy thought I went to bed. My couch was a bed of coal slack, and I was journeying to a mill town in a ...
— The Iron Puddler • James J. Davis

... with Weldon, anyhow?" another of the group queried, as dispassionately as if the subject of discussion had been absent in Rhodesia. "His face is a yard long, and his lips hang down in the slack of the corners." ...
— On the Firing Line • Anna Chapin Ray and Hamilton Brock Fuller

... fished up the stream; that is, the angler throws his line into the stream above where he stands, and allows it to float down opposite to him, when he makes another throw; by this means he always keeps his line slack, and the May-fly floats on the surface, which is essential to his success. I mention these two methods of angling because both are practised in bright weather, and therefore prove that fish both discern and feed in such days. I believe the fact is, that at such times they frequently ...
— Essays in Natural History and Agriculture • Thomas Garnett

... in Falkenberg's drawn face; neither of us could eat as we used. And by way of trying to hide our troubles from each other, I went about talking all sorts of cheerful nonsense, while Falkenberg bragged loudly at every meal of how he'd got to eating too much of late, and was getting slack ...
— Wanderers • Knut Hamsun

... man, while Dodge, not a whit less capable, took his as a philanderer. He now had an office in a big down-town building, but he never went near it except when his partner took it into his head to go away for a month's vacation at the slack season of the year. At such periods Mr. Dodge, being ages younger than the junior member of the firm, made it his practice to go down to the office and attend to the business with an earnestness that surprised every one. He gave over frolicking and stuck resolutely to the "knitting" that Johnson ...
— From the Housetops • George Barr McCutcheon

... consists of a sound-box about 3 ft long, 5 in. wide, and 3 in. deep, made of thin deal, or preferably of pine, and having beech ends to hold the tuning-pins and hitch-pins. A dozen or less catgut strings of different thickness, but tuned in exact unison, and left rather slack, are attached to the pins, and stretched over two narrow bridges of hard wood, one at each end of the sound-board, which is generally provided with two rose sound-holes. To ensure a proper passage for the wind, another ...
— Project Gutenberg Encyclopedia

... heedless pair of sportsmen slack! You never mark, though trout or jack, Or little foolish stickleback, Your baited snares may capture. What care has SHE for line and hook? She turns her back upon the brook, Upon her lover's eyes to look In ...
— Ballads • William Makepeace Thackeray

... temple 'mid the various tribes Who ply the AEgean. Though their business claims Dispatch immediate; though the inviting gales Ill brook the lingering mariners' delay: Soon as they reach thy soundings, down at once Drop the slack sails, and all the naval gear. The ship is moor'd: nor do the crew presume To quit thy sacred limits, 'till they have pass'd A painful penance; with the galling whip Lash'd thrice around ...
— A New System; or, an Analysis of Antient Mythology. Volume I. • Jacob Bryant

... hold your head up. Endure it. Live through it. Don't fight it. Make yourself slack—slack in your mind; and your body will slack. Yield. Remember how you taught me ...
— On the Makaloa Mat/Island Tales • Jack London

... with the short iron bar, in the end of which a V-shaped cut had been made. While Pete caught the slack wire with this bar, and, using the post as a fulcrum, the bar as a lever, drew it taut, Conniston with hammer and staples made it secure. Now and again they found a rotten post which must be taken out, while a new one ...
— Under Handicap - A Novel • Jackson Gregory

... away. Then with a snake-like wriggle I grasped it, and there was a cry of relief from the watchers. I got a bight around Ormond's shoulders, and after some difficulty fastened it. One cannot use ordinary knots on hide. Ready hands gathered in the slack, and my rival was drawn up swiftly, while they guided him diagonally around instead of under the jutting shelf from which ...
— Lorimer of the Northwest • Harold Bindloss

... that: I have hold of his mind. And I can slack it off or fetch it taut. And make him dance a score of miles away An answer to the least twangling thrum I play on it. He thought he lurkt at last Safely; and all the while, what has he been? An eel on the end of a night line; and it's time I haul'd him in. You'll ...
— Georgian Poetry 1918-19 • Various

... Chinese in China. The importance of this work cannot be measured by its bulk. Nor is it to be estimated by any census of countable immediate results. It is a kind of work, which, according as it is done, or left undone; or as it is done with slack and nerveless hand or with vim and vigor, will test the very character of our churches; will touch the conscience and well-being of the nation; and will, without a doubt, have vital and decisive connection with the future ...
— The American Missionary, Volume 42, No. 12, December, 1888 • Various

... with our whole heart to God and to your fatherly care. And because there is still need of great watchfulness, because the place is new, and the land unaccustomed to the monastic life, yea, without any experience of it, we beseech you in the Lord,[970] that you slack not your hand,[971] but perfectly accomplish that which you have well begun. Concerning our brothers who have returned from that place,[972] it had pleased us well if they had remained. But perhaps ...
— St. Bernard of Clairvaux's Life of St. Malachy of Armagh • H. J. Lawlor

... haven't the sense to alter it? Couldn't you set up a proper Government to-morrow, if you liked? Couldn't you contrive that the pits belonged to you, instead of you belonging to the pits, like so many old pit-ponies that stop down till they are blind, and take to eating coal-slack for meadow-grass, not knowing the difference? If only you'd learn to think, I'd respect you. As you are, I can't, not if I try my hardest. All you can think of is to ask for another shilling a day. That's as far as your imagination carries you. And perhaps you get sevenpence ...
— Touch and Go • D. H. Lawrence

... they are commonly about 13 inches square, with a thickness of three inches. The best quality of baked brick is of a yellowish-white tint, and very much resembles our Stourbridge or fire brick; another kind, extremely hard, but brittle, is of a blackish blue; a third, the coarsest of all, is slack-dried, and of a pale red. The earliest baked bricks are of this last color. The sun-dried bricks have even more variety of size than the baked ones. They are sometimes as large as 16 inches square and seven inches thick, sometimes as small as ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 1. (of 7): Chaldaea • George Rawlinson

... But his legs, slack and unsteady, gave way beneath him, as if any prolonged exertion were beyond his power. He ...
— The Teeth of the Tiger • Maurice Leblanc

... not slack, Now stand as tightly by your tack, Ne'er show your lug an' fidge your back, An' hum an' haw; But raise your arm, an' tell your crack ...
— Pelham, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... at the very outset, in getting men to ship for service on the regular cruisers. Privateers were being fitted out in every port; and on them the life was easy, discipline slack, danger to life small, and the prospects for financial reward far greater than on the United States men-of-war. Accordingly, the seafaring men as a rule preferred to ship on the privateers. At no time in the ...
— The Naval History of the United States - Volume 1 (of 2) • Willis J. Abbot

... around the limb so that the compress (pad) will press the artery against the bone. Slip under the compress and over the artery a small stone. Pass a stick under the bandage and turn the stick around slowly until the slack is taken up and the bleeding stops. Then tie the stick ...
— The Plattsburg Manual - A Handbook for Military Training • O.O. Ellis and E.B. Garey

... he flopped out, flapping as if he hated the touch of the snow, now. She gathered him up and put her lips to his beak. She was flushed and handsome, her eyes bright, her hair slack, thick, but more witch-like than ever. ...
— Wintry Peacock - From "The New Decameron", Volume III. • D. H. Lawrence

... right, sir," and shoved the boat off to a little distance from the frigate. The yard and stay-tackles fell, at the next instant were overhauled down and hooked by the man in the boat. The boatswain's mate, in the gangway, piped "haul-taut," and the slack of the tackle was pulled in; then followed a long, steady blow of the call, piping "sway-away," and the boat, with all in her, rose from the water, and ascended as high as the hammock-cloths in the waist, ...
— The Wing-and-Wing - Le Feu-Follet • J. Fenimore Cooper

... Arab horse will not shrink back, Though death confront him in his track, The Arab horse will not shrink back, And shall his rider's arm be slack? No!—By the God who gave us life, Our souls are ready for the strife. We need no serried lines, to show A gallant bearing to the foe. We need no trumpet to awake The thirst, which blood alone can slake. What is it that can ...
— Successful Recitations • Various

... I have now," he went on as he led the way toward the men's quarters. "Not a trouble maker in the bunch, except a half breed that I'm not particularly stuck on, and that I'm going to get rid of as soon as work gets slack. But take them all together I haven't got ...
— Bert Wilson in the Rockies • J. W. Duffield



Words linked to "Slack" :   slow, weaken, deterioration, worsening, shirk, cord, fiddle, junk, rubble, lessen, slack water, shrink from, peat bog, negligent, bog, looseness, declension, slacker, stretch, dust, decrease, standing, fall, hydrate, air-slake, minify, diminish, loosen, detritus, goldbrick, neglect, play, decline in quality, debris



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