Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To satisfy (a craving); quench: slaked her thirst.
  • transitive v. To lessen the force or activity of; moderate: slaking his anger.
  • transitive v. To cool or refresh by wetting or moistening.
  • transitive v. To combine (lime) chemically with water or moist air.
  • intransitive v. To undergo a slaking process; crumble or disintegrate, as lime.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To go out; to become extinct.
  • v. To become mixed with water, so that a true chemical combination takes place.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To allay; to quench; to extinguish.
  • transitive v. To mix with water, so that a true chemical combination shall take place; to slack.
  • intransitive v. To go out; to become extinct.
  • intransitive v. To abate; to become less decided.
  • intransitive v. To slacken; to become relaxed.
  • intransitive v. To become mixed with water, so that a true chemical combination takes place.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To become slack; loosen; slacken; fall off.
  • To be lax, remiss, or negligent.
  • To become less strong, active, energetic, severe, intense, or the like; abate; decrease; fail; cease.
  • To desist; give over: fall short.
  • To become disintegrated and loosened by the action of water; become chemically combined with water: as, the lime slakes.
  • To make slack or slow; slow; slacken.
  • To make slack or loose; render less tense, firm, or compact; slacken. Specifically
  • To loosen or disintegrate; reduce to powder by the action of water: as, to slake lime. Also slack.
  • To let loose; release.
  • To make slack or inactive; hence, to quench or extinguish, as fire, appease or assuage, as hunger or thirst, or mollify, as hatred: as, to slake one's hunger or thirst; to slake wrath.
  • n. A channel through a swamp or mud-flat.
  • n. Slime or mud.
  • To besmear; daub.
  • n. A slovenly or slabbery daub; a slight dabbing or bedaubing as with something soft and slabbery; a “lick.”
  • n. A name of various species of Algæ, chiefly marine and of the edible sorts, as Ulva Lactuca, U. latissima, and Porphyra laciniata: applied also to fresh-water species, as Enteromorpha and perhaps Conferva.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. make less active or intense
  • v. cause to heat and crumble by treatment with water
  • v. satisfy (thirst)

Etymologies

Middle English slaken, to abate, from Old English slacian, from slæc, slack, sluggish; see slack1.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English slaken ("to render slack, to slake"), from Old English sleacian, from sleac ("slack"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • If I can find them, perhaps they'll slake my thirst for Barker's short fiction.

    Rabid Reads: "Books of Blood: Volumes 1-3" by Clive Barker

  • Too bad it would do no more than slake his thirst.

    Healing the Highlander

  • Some do and "fan fiction" is an excellent way for them to slake their thirst for content without destroying the mystery for everyone else.

    JK Rowling should remember that less means more in the Potterverse | David Mitchell

  • Hoping to slake a thirst around 4 p.m., the audience member had been disappointed to learn that such obvious choices as PS 7's, Rasika and Zola don't serve drinks until closer to the dinner hour.

    Ask Tom: Saturday afternoon cocktails

  • Drawn & Quarterly will slake my curiosity with Black Blizzard, the tale of two convicts, cuffed together and on the run.

    Previews review February 2010

  • That the Saudis are even considering such a project shows how difficult and costly it is becoming to slake the world's thirst for oil.

    Facing Up to End of 'Easy Oil'

  • Eager to slake their thirst for adventure, the brothers competed against a hundred others in the Enduro Africa off-road motorcycle rally, tearing across more than a thousand miles of rugged African terrain on their Honda CRF 230 cc bikes.

    William and Kate

  • You begin changing what you can about yourself to slake the thirst of a grasping world, and to settle the demons of insecurity leaping at your psyche.

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • She would explore her attraction to him, slake these drives, and loosen the hold he had over her.

    Dreams of a Dark Warrior

  • “If it comes to the brutal action of really as one says chewing and devouring human flesh, have we not found people in these regions over here, even among those who bear the name of Christian … who, not content with having cruelly put to death their enemies, have been unable to slake their bloodthirst except by eating their livers and hearts?”

    Bloodlust

Comments

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  • Barbossa says this when he tells Elizabeth of the curse "...could not slake our lust..."

    October 26, 2011

  • Slake is to satisfy, so you can slake your hungar, your lust, your need for new words...

    June 2, 2009

  • I saw the same M*A*S*H episode, and I suggest that you can slake desire. :-)

    May 26, 2008

  • Lime.

    May 25, 2008

  • Can you think of any other thing you slake, other than thirst?

    May 25, 2008

  • My husband uses slake a different way. It would probably make Radar blush and Nicolas Cage snicker...

    May 16, 2008

  • I'm with you, c_b. That may be the best explanation for Nicolas Cage ever.

    May 15, 2008

  • It always reminds me of Radar O'Reilly in a M*A*S*H episode where he first discovers the word in a poem.

    May 15, 2008

  • I don't actually like this word, but it is neat in a kind of unlikable way. Like Nicolas Cage.

    May 15, 2008

  • This word, aptly, contains a lake,
    but adds an initial s,
    and thus suggests
    the slipping and sliding and slithering
    of water down the throat:
    a liquid snake.

    November 30, 2007