1

slave

noun \ ˈslāv \
Updated on: 18 Nov 2017

Definition of slave

1 :a person held in servitude as the chattel of another
2 :one that is completely subservient to a dominating influence
3 :a device (such as the printer of a computer) that is directly responsive to another

Examples of slave in a Sentence

  1. He treats her like a slave.

  2. Do it yourself! I'm not your slave!

Recent Examples of slave from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of slave

Middle English sclave, from Anglo-French or Medieval Latin; Anglo-French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclavus, from Sclavus Slav; from the frequent enslavement of Slavs in central Europe during the early Middle Ages


2

slave

verb

Definition of slave

slaved; slaving
transitive verb
1 archaic :enslave
2 :to make directly responsive to another mechanism
intransitive verb
1 :to work like a slave :drudge
2 :to traffic in slaves

Examples of slave in a Sentence

  1. I slaved all morning to get the work done on time.

  2. She's been slaving away at her homework.

Recent Examples of slave from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slave.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of slave

1602

slave Synonyms

Synonyms
bang away, beaver (away), dig (away), drudge, endeavor, fag, grub, hump, hustle, moil, peg (away), plod, plow, plug, labor, slog, strain, strive, struggle, sweat, toil, travail, tug, work
Related Words
apply (oneself), buckle (down), dig in, hammer (away), knuckle down, pitch in; attack, drive; essay, try; exercise, exert, overexert, overwork; eke out, grind (out), put out, scrabble, scratch; trudge, wade
Near Antonyms
break, ease (up), let up, slacken; bum, chill, dally, dillydally, footle, goldbrick, goof (off), hack (around), hang (around or out), idle, laze, loaf, lounge, shirk, slack (off), veg out; bask, loll, relax, repose, rest, unwind; dabble, doodle, fool around, fribble, goof (around), hang, hang about [British], mess around, monkey (around), play, potter (around), putter (around), trifle

3

slave

adjective

Definition of slave

1 a :of, relating to, involving, or used for slaves or slavery
  • slave traders
  • a slave auction
  • slave owners
  • a slave economy
  • Many authentic slave narratives were influenced by Harriet Beecher Stowe; on the other hand, authentic slave narratives were among Stowe's primary sources for her own imaginative work, Uncle Tom's Cabin.
  • —Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
b :held in or forced into servitude :enslaved
  • born of slave parents
  • slave workers
c :favoring or legally permitting slavery
  • a slave territory
  • the slave states
2 :operated by remote control
  • the device now tucked away behind the dials isn't properly a clockwork but a … slave unit activated by an electric clock inside the bank
  • The New Yorker
; specifically :responding to manipulation of the master controls of an apparatus
  • There's also provision for attaching external slave flash units for greater flash range when using print film.
  • —Herbert Keppler
  • … had the ultimate compact-disc system—a master machine and four optional slave machines—that will load and play 250 discs altogether …
  • —William D. Marbach

First Known Use of slave

1576


Slave

geographical name \ ˈslāv \

Definition of Slave

river 258 miles (415 kilometers) long in Canada flowing from the western end of Lake Athabasca north into Great Slave Lake


SLAVE Defined for English Language Learners

slave

noun

Definition of slave for English Language Learners

  • : someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay

  • : a person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something


slave

verb

Definition of slave for English Language Learners

  • : to work very hard


SLAVE Defined for Kids

1

slave

noun \ ˈslāv \

Definition of slave for Students

1 :a person who is owned by another person and can be sold at the owner's will
2 :a person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something
  • a slave to fashion
3 :drudge

2

slave

verb

Definition of slave for Students

slaved; slaving
:to work very hard, for long hours, or under difficult conditions
  • … I could only see myself slaving … in the tobacco fields.
  • —Robert Louis Stevenson, Kidnapped


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