en·​slave in-ˈslāv How to pronounce enslave (audio)
enslaved; enslaving; enslaves

transitive verb

: to reduce to or as if to slavery : subjugate
enslavement noun
enslaver noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web But despite alarmist predictions of AI overlords enslaving mankind, the technology still requires human handlers and will for some time to come. Sylvain Duranton, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2023 Monsters and a terrifying dragon run amok, and gods enslave humans by turning them into zombie-type creatures. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 24 Mar. 2023 Born about 1772, enslaved as a child and then set free by a family of German American potters, Mr. Commeraw began designing ceramics in the 1790s, including food storage vessels for oystermen and innkeepers. The New York Times, New York Times, 9 Mar. 2023 Flewellen flashes back to middle school in South Miami, where a teacher made a point of stressing that Africans enslaved other Africans, as if that somehow absolved the U.S. from the buying, selling and forced labor of Black people. Tyrone Beasonstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 6 Mar. 2023 Reparations critics say that monetary compensation and other forms of atonement are not necessary when no one alive today was enslaved or a slave owner, overlooking the inequities today impacting later generations of Black Americans. Janie Har, The Christian Science Monitor, 24 Feb. 2023 Ailsa Connery has endured three long years enslaved at Stirling Castle. Maureen Lee Lenker, EW.com, 22 Feb. 2023 His wife and several of their children, including Tubman, were still enslaved, though they were allowed to live with him, according to the Washington Post’s Michael E. Ruane. Ella Feldman, Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Feb. 2023 State archeologists have been searching for the homes of those enslaved on the Thompson Farm for more than two years. Gina Martinez, CBS News, 15 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'enslave.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1628, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of enslave was in 1628

Dictionary Entries Near enslave

Cite this Entry

“Enslave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enslave. Accessed 1 Apr. 2023.

Kids Definition


en·​slave in-ˈslāv How to pronounce enslave (audio)
: to make a slave of
enslavement noun
enslaver noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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