\ˈslaŋ \

Definition of slang 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : language peculiar to a particular group: such as

a : argot

b : jargon sense 1

2 : an informal nonstandard vocabulary composed typically of coinages, arbitrarily changed words, and extravagant, forced, or facetious figures of speech


slanged; slanging; slangs

Definition of slang (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to use slang or vulgar abuse

transitive verb

: to abuse with harsh or coarse language

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Other Words from slang


slang adjective
slangily \ˈslaŋ-​ə-​lē \ adverb
slanginess \ˈslaŋ-​ē-​nəs \ noun
slangy \ˈslaŋ-​ē \ adjective

Examples of slang in a Sentence


tends to use too much hacker's slang when talking to coworkers about their computer problems

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Army, playing off a slang term for the president that is popular at /r/the_donald. Russell Brandom, The Verge, "Russian troll sites infiltrated Donald Trump subreddit as recently as this month," 24 Sep. 2018 The federal Drug Enforcement Administration this month released a list of slang terms commonly used to refer to street drugs. Jaclyn Reiss,, "The DEA just put out a new list of slang terms for marijuana, and some of them are pretty hilarious," 10 July 2018 Chewing Gum, the British comedy set on a council estate in East London, sparkles with slang that blows right past most Americans. Jason Kehe, WIRED, "The Real Reason You Use Closed Captions for Everything Now," 26 June 2018 His writing is studded with Aussie slang that takes a few chapters to get used to, but his evocative descriptions of the outback need no translation. April Austin, The Christian Science Monitor, "'A Long Way From Home' shifts from a lively 1950s travelogue to a darker debate over racial identity," 22 Mar. 2018 The voice with which Graham-Felsen equips Green, overseasoned with hip-hop slang, is the epitome of this. Jonathan Miles, New York Times, "Bridging the Racial Divide in a Middle School Friendship," 15 Jan. 2018 Mexican artists are also incorporating more of their slang in tracks, something that wasn't prominent in past eras. Marco Torres, Houston Chronicle, "Latino music exec at SXSW: 'Hold on cause we're already on this side of the border'," 16 Mar. 2018 This dad who just wanted to make up his own slang. 6. Ariel Nagi, Seventeen, "12 Parents Who Tried To Text Like Teens And Failed So Hard They Won," 10 Mar. 2015 Her dialogue is peppered heavily with Hawaiian pidgin English and drug slang, and her characters feel ripped from life. Jack Helbig, Chicago Reader, "Not One Batu feels torn directly from life," 5 July 2018

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


1756, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1828, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for slang


origin unknown

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More Definitions for slang



English Language Learners Definition of slang

: words that are not considered part of the standard vocabulary of a language and that are used very informally in speech especially by a particular group of people


\ˈslaŋ \

Kids Definition of slang

: very informal words used by a group of people

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More from Merriam-Webster on slang

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slang

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slang

Spanish Central: Translation of slang

Nglish: Translation of slang for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slang for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about slang

Comments on slang

What made you want to look up slang? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move with a clumsy heavy tread

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