\ ˈslaŋ How to pronounce slang (audio) \

Definition of slang

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : language peculiar to a particular group: such as
a : argot
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 How to pronounce slang (audio) \ adverb
slanginess \ ˈslaŋ-​ē-​nəs How to pronounce slang (audio) \ noun
slangy \ ˈslaŋ-​ē How to pronounce slang (audio) \ adjective

Examples of slang in a Sentence

Noun tends to use too much hacker's slang when talking to coworkers about their computer problems
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Shawn Mendes, Pickering, Canada native, schools us in Canadian slang. Mike Rose, cleveland, "Shawn Mendes teaches you Canadian slang (video)," 17 Dec. 2020 Skodvin and Bjørnstad have created an eminently believable futuristic world, blending modern-day Norway with historical elements from the relevant time periods, complete with its own slang. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "TV Technica 2020: Our favorite shows and binges in a year of living distantly," 26 Dec. 2020 The phrase has become caring slang in the ICU for staff members who need to step away for a few minutes to collect themselves. Jamie Munks,, "Hope at a historic moment: First COVID-19 vaccinations scheduled to be given in Illinois on Tuesday," 14 Dec. 2020 The conversations between characters use Black slang without taking time to explain what certain words or phrases mean for a potential white audience. Justin Phillips,, "Kamala Harris represents America’s ethnic future, and the need to talk about colorism now," 19 Nov. 2020 In today’s literary climate, the translator would also have to settle on a single form of American slang to sustain the character. Daniel Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, "Appreciation: Why Luis Zapata’s breakthrough gay Mexican novel demands a new translation," 18 Nov. 2020 And while hiding in the mountains, Yon Sosa and Turcios Lima began to organize the country’s first guerrilla movement (or front, in local slang): the Revolutionary Movement of 13th November. Eduardo Halfon, The New York Review of Books, "Canción," 9 Nov. 2020 Like Lily’s mother, many officers disdained the slang of the troops. Melissa Mohr, The Christian Science Monitor, "Union or Rebel soldier, they agreed on slang," 29 Oct. 2020 Harris uses memes and slang to questionable effect sometimes, but this was just ugh. Please. Bill Goodykoontz, The Arizona Republic, "'SNL' had no idea how to handle Trump's COVID diagnosis. Jim Carrey's Biden didn't help," 4 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Common phrases, hashtags and slang with roots in the digital sphere and pop culture are now available to those searching the site. Danielle Garrand, CBS News, "GOAT, gender-inclusive among 650 new words added to," 1 Sep. 2020

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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Learn More about slang

Statistics for slang

Last Updated

21 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slang.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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 How to pronounce slang (audio) \

Kids Definition of slang

: very informal words used by a group of people

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Comments on slang

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