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

The 25-year-old Murad was among thousands of women and girls from the Yazidi minority who were kidnapped and enslaved in 2014 by the group that calls itself the Islamic State. Susannah George, The Seattle Times, "Nobel Peace winner Murad urges global fight against genocide," 8 Oct. 2018 Throughout, the architecture subtly frames the narrative, as in the dark, low-ceilinged spaces, whose exhibits relate how Africans were abducted, enslaved and shipped across the Atlantic. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "The national African-American museum still stirs the soul — and drops hints of what to expect at the Obama Presidential Center," 11 July 2018 Trained at the elite Château de Chantilly while accompanying Jefferson on a trip to France, Hemings would later become one of only two laborers enslaved by Jefferson to negotiate his freedom. Amanda Cargill, Smithsonian, "What Did the Founding Fathers Eat and Drink as They Started a Revolution?," 3 July 2018 Kanye made an attempt to argue that because of the sheer numbers of kidnapped and enslaved people, blacks chose to remain in slavery for centuries in this country. Tiffany Capers - Contributing Columnist, Observer Editorial Board, charlotteobserver, "What Kanye and Pat McCrory got wrong about blacks | Charlotte Observer," 18 May 2018 They are often ostracized, abused, assaulted by mobs, raped or enslaved by criminals in conservative countries, where homosexuality is a taboo, advocates say. NBC News, "Global LGBTQ funding up but worry as bulk goes to North America," 26 Apr. 2018 In some cases, those enslaved earned enough money to buy their freedom. Ann Maloney, NOLA.com, "Loretta's Pralines finds its sweet spot at New Orleans Jazz Fest," 24 Apr. 2018 The series follows a woman, Offred, who is enslaved as a handmaid in the totalitarian society of Gilead. Kathleen Joyce, Fox News, "Sexy 'maiden costume' yanked from website after backlash from 'Handmaid's Tale' fans," 21 Sep. 2018 But the reality is that, for most of this country’s history, one tribe has held power, deciding who was allowed to settle the land and who could be dispossessed, who was free and who was enslaved, who had the right to vote and who did not. Laila Lalami, New York Times, "Does American ‘Tribalism’ End in a Compromise, or a Fight?," 26 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

7 Dec 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

More from Merriam-Webster on 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

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 nest or breeding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

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!