Word of the DayFriday, July 20, 2001
\sleyk\ , verb;
to allay (thirst, desire, wrath, etc.) by satisfying.
to make less active, vigorous, intense, etc.: His calm manner slaked their enthusiasm.
to cause disintegration of (lime) by treatment with water.
My companions never drink pure water and the manioc beer serves as much to slake their thirst as to fill their stomachs and lubricate conversation.
-- Philippe Descola, The Spears of Twilight: Life and Death in the Amazon Jungle, 1996
She had the money he gave her (never enough to slake her anxieties).
-- Nuala O'Faolain, Are You Somebody?: The Accidental Memoir of a Dublin Woman, 1996
Slake comes from Middle English slaken, "to become or render slack," hence "to abate," from Old English slacian, from slæc, "slack."
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