Language Tips


Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter

In this weekly post, we bring more useful content from the Macmillan Dictionary to English language learners. In this series of language tips to accompany the Real Vocabulary theme we look at how you can expand your vocabulary in English by using different words and expressions instead of core vocabulary items.

This set of language tips explores the words and phrases we use to describe movement. This week’s tip looks at adjectives that mean slow:


  • My sister is so slow, I can’t bear walking with her.
  • Most large trucks are slow and difficult to drive.
  • a long slow walk to the top of the hill
  • He was the slowest runner in the group.

leisurely slow and relaxed, especially when you are doing something you enjoy and don’t want to hurry:

  • They took a long leisurely walk along the beach.
  • I turned over and did a leisurely backstroke back up the pool.

Leisurely is often used for talking about a long relaxed meal:

  • a leisurely breakfast/lunch/dinner

unhurried slow and relaxed, without any worry about taking a long time:

  • They made a long, unhurried descent down the mountain.
  • Life on the island continues at an unhurried pace.

slow-moving moving slowly:

  • a line of slow-moving traffic

gradual happening slowly and in small stages:

  • An initial steep climb was followed by a gradual ascent to the summit.

sluggish moving or happening more slowly than usual or more slowly than you would like:

  • It wasn’t a good match for me, I felt tired and a bit sluggish.
  • The traffic was heavy, and we got off to a rather sluggish start.

Did you know that Macmillan Dictionary includes a full thesaurus? This page lists more ways to say ‘slow‘.

More language tips

Browse the list under the ‘language tips‘ tag here on the blog for more useful language tips.

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Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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