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 Last month, Glover spoke at the African American Museum at Fair Park about 2019 being the 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans landing in America. Dallas News, "Frederick Douglass speech raises question: Should African-Americans celebrate the Fourth of July?," 2 July 2019 Africans were enslaved because of their low cost, subhuman status, and agricultural skills, Williams-Forson said. Lateshia Beachum, Washington Post, "Which came first: The fried chicken or the racist trope?," 24 Aug. 2019 They had been enslaved in Colombia, but aboard ship their legal status was uncertain. Stephen L. Carter, Twin Cities, "Stephen L. Carter: America’s reckoning on slavery can’t come soon enough," 23 Aug. 2019 Rhode Island farms sold food to Caribbean slave plantations and later Rhode Island textile mills clothed enslaved workers until the last days of chattel slavery. Crystal Whaley, Essence, "Did You Know Providence Rhode Island Is Full of Black History & Culture?," 6 Aug. 2019 Tubman was enslaved by a man named Edward Broadess. oregonlive, "Harriet Tubman won’t replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill next year," 22 May 2019 Questions about income inequality, reparations for slavery and other issues from the nation's history of enslaving people are spilling into politics and culture with a reckoning not seen since the Civil Rights era. NBC News, "Black members of Congress mark 400th anniversary of enslaved Africans arriving in U.S.," 11 Sep. 2019 In the first half of the 20th century, the Korean Peninsula was colonized by Japan, and many Koreans were brutalized, murdered and enslaved. Yoonjung Seo, CNN, "'Symbol of the devil': Why South Korea wants Japan to ban the Rising Sun flag from the Tokyo Olympics," 6 Sep. 2019 Donohue said the public is talking about slavery’s role in American history more this year, as 2019 marks the 400-year-anniversary of the first enslaved people arriving in Jamestown, Virginia. Amanda Blanco, courant.com, "A new project reveals the hidden history of colonial people of color who are buried in downtown Hartford," 6 Sep. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near enslave





Enslen's vine



Statistics for enslave

Last Updated

26 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for enslave

The first known use of enslave was in 1628

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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

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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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