Word of the Day Archive
Friday January 14, 2005
, transitive verb:
1. To satisfy; to quench; to extinguish; as, to slake thirst.
2. To cause to lessen; to make less active or intense; to moderate; as, slaking his anger.
3. To cause (as lime) to heat and crumble by treatment with water.
1. To become slaked; to crumble or disintegrate, as lime.
My companions never drink pure water and the . . . beer serves as much to slake their thirst as to fill their stomachs and lubricate conversation.
-- Philippe Descola, The Spears of Twilight
She had the money he gave her (never enough to slake her anxieties).
-- Nuala O'Faolain, Are You Somebody
Slake comes from Middle English slaken, "to become or render slack," hence "to abate," from Old English slacian, from slæc, "slack."