October 01, 2013
lax (adjective)
\LAKS\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
1 : not firm or tight : loose2 : not strict
How do you use it?
Our teacher is pretty lax about things like raising your hands before speaking or asking to be excused to go to the bathroom.
Are you a word wiz?

The English word "lax" comes from the Latin word "laxus." What do you think "laxus" means?

Strictly speaking, answer C is correct. The Latin adjective "laxus" means "loose," and it was used both literally (for ropes, knots, and so on) and figuratively (for anything that was relaxed, easy, or open). When "lax" first came into English in the 1300s, it took the literal and figurative meanings of "laxus" with it. The two meanings we have given above have been in consistent use for more than 600 years. "Laxus" also is root of the word "relax" and a more distant relative of the word "slack."
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