\ ˈslab How to pronounce slab (audio) \

Definition of slab

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a thick plate or slice (as of stone, wood, or bread): such as
a : the outside piece cut from a log in squaring it
b : concrete pavement (as of a road) specifically : a strip of concrete pavement laid as a single unjointed piece
c(1) : a flat rectangular architectural element that is usually formed of a single piece or mass a concrete foundation slab
(2) : a rectangular building having little width with respect to its length and usually height
2 : something that resembles a slab (as in size, shape, or density) backed up by a solid slab of reference materialThe Times Literary Supplement (London)
3 : a hard plastic holder for a collectible coin and an identifying insert


slabbed; slabbing

Definition of slab (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1a : to remove an outer slab from slab a log
b : to divide or form into slabs
2 : to cover or support (something, such as a roadbed or roof) with slabs
3 : to put on thickly

Definition of slab (Entry 3 of 3)

dialectal, chiefly England

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Other Words from slab


slablike \ ˈslab-​ˌlīk How to pronounce slablike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of slab in a Sentence

Noun a thick slab of homemade bread
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Local detractors recoil from its blunt slab-like form. John King,, "Trump’s next target could be his most cynical yet — modern architecture," 9 Feb. 2020 Employing the special effects of live theater, the exhibit transformed the usually drab slab feel of the convention space into an all immersive experience. David Harten, The Courier-Journal, "At Jurassic Quest, fans feel roar of "true to detail" dinosaurs at Kentucky Expo Center," 2 Feb. 2020 The process involved slicing the brain into 20 nanometer slabs, and then continuously imaging them for months in an undisturbed environment. Gregory Barber, Wired, "The Most Complete Brain Map Ever Is Here: A Fly's 'Connectome'," 22 Jan. 2020 Technicians then cut it into slabs 20 microns thick, about the width of an extremely fine human hair. Sharon Begley, STAT, "A ‘landmark’ achievement: Scientists trace full wiring diagram of the fly brain’s core," 22 Jan. 2020 On those granite slabs are the names of Trooper Herbert W. Smith, shot to death near Shelbyville in 1946; First Sgt. Bob Greene, WSJ, "Honoring the Heartland’s Fallen Heroes," 21 Jan. 2020 These sharp, heavy-duty kitchen shears are made from stainless steel, with a micro-serrated edge that will easily cut chicken bones or slabs of meat. Popular Science, "Kitchen shears for trimming herbs and spatchcocking chicken," 10 Jan. 2020 Weathered rock slabs that hang from cliffs form odd sculptures that frame views of the Valley and surrounding mountain ranges. Mare Czinar, azcentral, "This is one of Phoenix's best loved hikes. Here's why," 8 Jan. 2020 The part of the mill that rolls slabs into sheets of steel will shutter by the end of next year. Chris Isidore, CNN, "US Steel is closing a Detroit steel mill and laying off 1,500 workers," 20 Dec. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Slabhead was slabbing his head against every ball that came within his orbit, with Tammy Abraham duly confirming to the gravitational pull of his pocket., "90min's Definitive European Player Power Rankings: Week 1," 12 Aug. 2019 Brazil, which primarily exports slab steel to US manufacturers, is hoping to escape by agreeing on limited quotas for more sophisticated products. Jack Ewing And Ana Swanson,, "US allies brace for trade war as tariff negotiations stall," 29 Apr. 2018 Brazil, which primarily exports slab steel to American manufacturers, is hoping to escape by agreeing on limited quotas for more sophisticated products. Jack Ewing And Ana Swanson, New York Times, "U.S. Allies Brace for Trade War as Tariff Negotiations Stall," 29 Apr. 2018 Wipers can be found in the same areas trolling crankbaits, slabbing, or using live bait. Tyler Mahoney, kansascity, "Fishing report: Looking for hot spots? Here's where the fish are biting | The Kansas City Star," 14 Mar. 2018 Try trolling crankbaits, slabbing, or using live bait. Tyler Mahoney, kansascity, "Fishing report: Prospects should improve if the winds stay calm | The Kansas City Star," 7 Mar. 2018 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective For example, standards might dictate that a certain percentage of the house has to be brick (vinyl is scoffed at), roofs have to have a certain pitch (definitely can’t be flat) and basements are mandatory (no more slab houses). Elizabeth Depompei, Indianapolis Star, "Why buying a home in Greenwood is out of reach for many who work there," 25 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slab.' 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 slab


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1703, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1605, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for slab


Middle English slabbe


akin to Middle English slabben to wallow, obsolete Danish slab muck

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Time Traveler for slab

Time Traveler

The first known use of slab was in the 14th century

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Statistics for slab

Last Updated

14 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slab.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for slab


How to pronounce slab (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of slab

: a thick, flat piece of a hard material (such as stone or wood)
: a thick, flat piece of food (such as bread or meat)


\ ˈslab How to pronounce slab (audio) \

Kids Definition of slab

: a flat thick piece or slice a slab of stone

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More from Merriam-Webster on slab

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slab

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slab

Spanish Central: Translation of slab

Nglish: Translation of slab for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slab for Arabic Speakers

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