adj. lax·er, lax·est
1. Lacking in rigor, strictness, or firmness. See Synonyms at negligent.
2. Not taut, firm, or compact; slack. See Synonyms at loose.
3. Loose and not easily retained or controlled. Used of bowel movements.
4. Linguistics Pronounced with the muscles of the tongue and jaw relatively relaxed, as the vowel (ĕ) in let.
[Middle English, from Latin laxus, loose, lax; see slēg- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
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Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.