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

Yet, later, many Akwamu, including royals, were transported to the Danish West Indies, enslaved and worked on plantations under brutal and dehumanizing conditions. Rachel Ama Asaa Engmann, Quartz Africa, "A Ghanaian royal family’s conflict of collaboration and resistance in the African slave trade," 13 July 2019 Two years ago, artifacts were found in the space where the enslaved would have lived from around the 1830s to the 1860s. Tariro Mzezewa, New York Times, "Enslaved People Lived Here. These Museums Want You to Know.," 26 June 2019 There were Confederate soldiers on that base, plotting and planning on how to keep 3.9 million negroes enslaved. Rosy Cordero, EW.com, "The top 7 moments from the BET Awards," 24 June 2019 Over 20 enslaved Africans on the ship were sold, and with that, American slavery was born. Jameelah Nasheed, Teen Vogue, "What To Know About the ‘Year of Return’," 26 Aug. 2019 More than 50,000 people perished, some of them enslaved Africans. Amy Crawford, Smithsonian, "Why Spain Is Seeking to Catalog All of Its Historic Shipwrecks," 23 Aug. 2019 The weekend’s events will then culminate with Healing Day on Sunday, August 25th, which will officially recognize the 400th Anniversary of the arrival of the first enslaved Africans in English North America in 1619. Paula Rogo, Essence, "Virginia To Commemorate The First Africans To Land In North America," 17 Aug. 2019 After the battle, the San Juan Bautista continued to Veracruz, where 147 surviving enslaved Africans would be sold. National Geographic, "400 years ago, enslaved Africans first arrived in Virginia," 13 Aug. 2019 Made up of 20,000 of the most skilled swordsman in the free cities (the Unsullied could be considered the best, but they were enslaved), the Golden Company has quite the reputation. Ineye Komonibo, Marie Claire, "Will the Golden Company Betray Cersei Lannister and Determine Westeros' Ruler?," 30 Apr. 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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Enslen's vine



Statistics for enslave

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for enslave

The first known use of enslave was in 1628

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More Definitions for enslave



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with enslave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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 make a temporary encampment

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