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

Definition of enslave

transitive verb

: to reduce to or as if to slavery : subjugate

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Other Words from enslave

enslavement \ in-​ˈslāv-​mənt How to pronounce enslavement (audio) , en-​ \ noun
enslaver noun

Examples of enslave in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Louisville, Macon, and Savannah – were renamed after Confederate generals who had fought to keep blacks enslaved. 1843, "Confederacy in the ’hood," 2 Apr. 2020 And, besides, other ancestors were themselves enslaved. New York Times, "‘Cane River’ Review: A Lost Treasure of Independent Cinema," 6 Feb. 2020 Ruth Elma Cummings, who were sharecroppers on land where their ancestors were enslaved. Lillian Reed, baltimoresun.com, "'My brother in Baltimore’: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi reacts to death of U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings," 17 Oct. 2019 Those who remained in the locales in which their ancestors were enslaved live in precisely those places with the least intergenerational upward mobility in the 21st century. Calvin Schermerhorn, Twin Cities, "Calvin Schermerhorn: Why the racial wealth gap persists more than 150 years after emancipation," 27 June 2019 His great-grandparents had been enslaved on a plantation in South Carolina, and his grandparents were sharecroppers in the town of Gaffney, Johnson told CNN. Harmeet Kaur, CNN, "Theodore Gaffney, who photographed the Freedom Riders as they protested segregation, dies of Covid-19 complications," 21 Apr. 2020 The ultimate concerns for Stevens and his fellows were the liberation of the enslaved, the punishment of the enslavers, and the reorganization of southern society. Andrew Ferguson, The Atlantic, "Abraham Lincoln’s Radical Moderation," 12 Mar. 2020 In Massachusetts, the social studies standards mention slavery and enslaved people more than 60 times. Jericka Duncan, CBS News, "50 states, 50 different ways of teaching America's past," 19 Feb. 2020 But the cultivation of, and trade in, coffee and tea plants (and the sugar used in both) would also enslave countless people and lead to the East India Company opening an opium trade with China. Washington Post, "“The benefits are clear on the civilization ledger,” he adds. “On the species ledger, it really depends if you see civilization as a plus or minus for the species. It does a lot for us, but it also has an enormous cost.”," 6 Feb. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of enslave

1628, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for enslave

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The first known use of enslave was in 1628

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Statistics for enslave

Last Updated

10 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Enslave.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/enslave. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for enslave


How to pronounce enslave (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of enslave

: to make (someone) a slave


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

Kids Definition of enslave

: to make a slave of

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More from Merriam-Webster on enslave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for enslave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enslave

Spanish Central: Translation of enslave

Nglish: Translation of enslave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of enslave for Arabic Speakers

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