Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast: Meaning, Origin, Synonyms

The phrase “slow is smooth, smooth is fast” conveys the idea that by taking things slowly and methodically can actually help you achieve your goals more efficiently. It originates from the U.S. Navy SEALs as a message to their soldiers, especially in life threatening situations.

Synonyms for this mantra include “Slow and steady wins the race”, “Deliberate is efficient, efficient is quick”, and “Methodical progress leads to speed”.

In this post, we’ll further explain the definition of “slow is smooth and smooth is fast”, popular synonyms, and how to use it correctly in a sentence.

Slow Is Smooth Smooth Is Fast

What’s The Meaning Of “Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast”?

The phrase “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” is a saying used to communicate that people should take their time & do things correctly the first time. Acting with precision and critical thinking in firearms training, tactical operations, and competitive shooting is the best way. Moving too fast & carelessly can result in spending time redoing things that were done incorrectly.

This phrase emphasizes that executing tasks deliberately and smoothly at a slower pace initially leads to faster and better results. This thought process highlights the the idea that sacrificing proper technique for speed can lead to mistakes. Take things slow & do them right the first time!

Who First Said “Slow Is Smooth, And Smooth Is Fast”?

The phrase “Slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” originated from the U.S. Navy SEALs. The Nave SEALs are an elite Navy tactical unit comprised of highly skilled & trained soldiers. Commanders would remind their unit “slow is smooth and smooth is fast” to emphasize that they should take their time & execute properly.

This mantra may have originated in the Navy but it is not limited to military applications. This expression can be applicable to other various professions and activities where precision, consistency, and efficiency are highly important. Here are some other contexts this phrase could be used.

  • Competitive shooting
  • Law enforcement
  • Martial arts
  • Aviation
  • Household chores

What Are Synonyms For “Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast”?

Here are synonyms for the phrase “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast”.

  1. Deliberate is Efficient, Efficient is Quick
  2. Methodical Progress Leads to Speed
  3. Precision Precedes Speed
  4. Accuracy is the Path to Swiftness
  5. Calm and Controlled Yields Speed
  6. Thoroughness Leads to Rapidity
  7. Steady and Fluid Results in Velocity
Slow Is Smooth and Smooth Is Fast

Each of these synonyms convey a similar idea of prioritizing precision and consistency before speed. Just be sure to understand your speaking or writing context before choosing the correct phrase. Just like we saw in our post comparing the phrase we was vs we were, synonyms are a great way for writers to improve their work!

How Do You Use The Quote “Slow Is Smooth, Smooth Is Fast” In A Sentence?

Here are 5 example situations that demonstrate how to use the quote “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” correctly in a sentence.

  1. As the race car driver prepared to take the track, his coach reminded him, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast,” emphasizing the importance of precise control for a speedy lap time.
  2. In the world of martial arts, the mantra “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” guided students to focus on perfecting their movements, ensuring both accuracy and agility in combat situations.
  3. The software development team adopted the principle that “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast” to avoid rushed coding, leading to fewer errors and quicker project completion in the long run.
  4. During a high-pressure rescue operation, the firefighters reminded each other of their training motto, “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast,” as they carefully executed their life-saving procedures.
  5. In the competitive shooting competition, the champion athlete adhered to the philosophy that “Slow is smooth, smooth is fast,” allowing him to maintain exceptional accuracy even under the pressure of the final round.

Just like we saw in a post about “where you from“, you need understand the correct situations to use informal or slang phrases.

Popularity Analysis

The data from Google’s own Ngram data shows the mantra “slow is smooth” has become very popular. The diagram below shows that this expression has become significantly more popular since the year 2000. This is most likely because of the rise in military movies, books and other forms of entertainment. Popular military mantras have become more mainstream than ever. However, just like we saw in our analysis of the phrase “may odds be ever in your favor“, the popularity of vocabulary can change as pop culture evolves.

Slow Is Smooth popularity

Frequently Asked Questions

Does the quote “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” apply to school?

Yes, the quote “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast” can apply to school by emphasizing the importance of taking a deliberate and precise approach to learning and mastering subjects, which can ultimately lead to quicker and more effective academic progress.

The Bottom Line

By now you should be an expert on the phrase “slow is smooth, and smooth is fast”. This phrased is used to express the idea that moving slower & more methodically can boost productivity and reduce errors. It emphasizes the importance of mastering the fundamentals, maintaining composure, and executing tasks smoothly and accurately to be more efficient in the long run. If you need help using other similar expressions like this, consider using our tool for grammar checking to make things easier!