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Lowering the main sheet of a mainsail : (1) pulled tight , (2) lowered, (3) largely lowered

Easing - even ease out  - is a term used in shipping , which the controlled loose-enter or decline a leash or chain describes.

The friction around a winch or cleat can also be used to “brake” .

Uncontrolled - that is, unintentional - slacking is known as roaring .

The opposite of lowering, i.e. fetching or pulling a line, is known as hauling in or tightly or as heaving . With reference to the anchor one speaks of the "clear".