verb (used with object), verb (used without object)
to make or become less active, vigorous, intense, etc.
to make or become looser or less taut.

1570–80; slack1 + -en1

unslackened, adjective
unslackening, adjective

1, 2. relax, loosen, slack, abate.

2. tighten, tense. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To slacken
World English Dictionary
slacken (ˈslækən)
1.  to make or become looser
2.  to make or become slower, less intense, etc

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Example sentences
Slacken the fixing screw and carefully slide the instrument until the cross
  hairs are in register with the target.
Slacken the chain and move the adjacent links to one side to inspect for wear
  at the contact points.
At some point the incremental improvement will typically slacken off
After that, evolutionary pressures slacken and genome maintenance slows.
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