en·​slave | \in-ˈslāv, en-\
enslaved; enslaving; enslaves

Definition of enslave 

transitive verb

: to reduce to or as if to slavery : subjugate

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from enslave

enslavement \ in-​ˈslāv-​mənt , en-​ \ noun
enslaver noun

Examples of enslave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Kossula was brought to the U.S. illegally via the slave ship Clotilda more than 50 years after Congress outlawed the importation of enslaved Africans into the United States. Angela Helm, The Root, "Zora Neale Hurston’s Barracoon Is a One in a Million Tale From the Last Known Survivor of the Transatlantic Slave Trade," 10 May 2018 The dish has a rich New Orleans history and often is attributed to free and enslaved Africans, who sold them in French Quarter. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Loretta's Pralines finds its sweet spot at New Orleans Jazz Fest," 24 Apr. 2018 The first enslaved Africans were thought to have been introduced by a French agricultural venture to raise cattle and harvest live oaks for shipbuilding. Brett Mcnish, Smithsonian, "A Smithsonian Horticulturist Goes on a Quest for an Historic Seedling," 15 Feb. 2018 At one point, almost offhand, the contract workers of the film’s Big Bad company, Worry Free Living, are revealed to kinda-sorta-maybe be enslaved. Vann R. Newkirk Ii, The Atlantic, "Sorry to Bother You Is a Dystopian Send-Up of Dystopias," 13 July 2018 Since then, the anniversary of the emancipation of enslaved African-Americans throughout the former Confederacy of the southern United States has been celebrated as Juneteenth. Cassie Armstrong, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Juneteenth: How to observe in Central Florida," 19 June 2018 The goal is to paralyze blacks with undue fear, keeping us enslaved to ideologies that continue to fail us. Brian Flood, Fox News, "Candace Owens challenges ESPN star Jemele Hill to racism debate, says Dems use her to 'paralyze blacks with undue fear'," 10 July 2018 Our show could be seen as a metaphor for the transitional relationship between technology and humans in that people are becoming more and more enslaved by technology. Billboard Japan, Billboard, "Japan's 'Scary Beauty' Android Opera is a Metaphor for Our Relationship with Tech: Interview," 2 July 2018 So begins this extraordinary account by Hughes, who was born enslaved in 1848 and was interviewed in 1949 at the ripe old age of 101. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "raceAhead: Hacking Diversity in the Legal Profession," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'enslave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of enslave

1628, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about enslave

Dictionary Entries near enslave





Enslen's vine



Statistics for enslave

Last Updated

26 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for enslave

The first known use of enslave was in 1628

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for enslave



English Language Learners Definition of enslave

: to make (someone) a slave


en·​slave | \in-ˈslāv \
enslaved; enslaving

Kids Definition of enslave

: to make a slave of

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on enslave

What made you want to look up enslave? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a trusted follower

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!