from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Of or being a style of Hawaiian popular music played by fingerpicking an acoustic guitar that has been tuned to any of various open chords.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Hours of Arthur Lyman-style exotica and slack-key guitar music get lost in the background -- as with drinks, generously mix in music that will make the guests happy.

    Stefan Beck: The Grog Days of Summer (PHOTOS)

  • Kai was leading some of his young cousins in a rousing, rather aggressive tune that sounded vaguely familiar, although Bonnie was sure she had never heard it played on ukulele and slack-key guitar before.

    The Aloha Quilt

  • I had an office, Peewee was in the kitchen, Lester Chen at Reception, Sweetie in Housekeeping, Tran at the bar, Keola in Maintenance, Kawika in the garden; the poolside lanai, the narrow lobby -- Amo Ferretti arranging the flowers; the potted palms, the monkeypod tree out front, the slack-key Hawaiian music.


  • Andy Summers of the Police, the master of ceremonies, introduces the first contestant -- Makana, who blends country finger-picking with the slack-key style of his native Honolulu.

    A Guitar Contest With a Winning Surprise

  • I have loved music since I was a child, and have any number of musical heroes, from Andres Segovia to Bob Dylan to Hawaiian slack-key guitarist Keola Beamer to Richard Thompson to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

    Archive 2007-04-01

  • A Cajun guitarist did a riff on Hawaiian slack-key.

    NYT > Home Page

  • Nate Chinen explains the controversies behind the Hawaiian music category, which in its seven years of existence has been dominated by one man, Daniel Ho, and his albums of slack-key guitar.

    NYT > Home Page

  • During the ceremony, the couple was serenaded by the soft Hawaiian slack-key guitar music of Steven Top Stories

  • Polynesian rhythms and the slack-key stylings so easily identified with the Hawaiian Islands,

    Tucson Weekly

  • Manager and music maven Luana Maitland makes guests feel right at home, if your home includes the slack-key artistry of

    SFGate: Top News Stories


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