slave·​hold·​er | \ ˈslāv-ˌhōl-dər How to pronounce slaveholder (audio) \
plural slaveholders

Definition of slaveholder

: someone who holds one or more people in forced servitude

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Other Words from slaveholder

slaveholding \ ˈslāv-​ˌhōl-​diŋ How to pronounce slaveholder (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of slaveholder in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Samuel and other ancestors also had been listed in the property records of a Georgia slaveholder. al, 20 June 2021 His eventual successor, Joe Biden, issued a brief video saying the country had yet to live up to its promise of equality, noting that even Jefferson was a slaveholder. Hillel Italie, Star Tribune, 30 June 2021 Its appearance that morning, as the British ships fled the harbor, would inspire Francis Scott Key—a lawyer and slaveholder—to scribble the lyrics that would later become the national anthem. Lila Thulin, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 June 2021 Canellos leaves out unflattering details noted by earlier biographers that implicate Harlan more directly as a slaveholder. Seth Stern, The Christian Science Monitor, 8 June 2021 Descendant of a slaveholder donated a six-figure reparations payment. Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY, 1 June 2021 Other Collin County officials also blocked a proposal to move or better explain a statue of the city and county’s namesake, Collin McKinney, a slaveholder with Black descendants. Los Angeles Times, 10 May 2021 When in 1852 a Black person was kidnapped by a US slaveholder in Guerrero, Coahuila, four town officials tracked him down and killed him in a shootout. David S. Reynolds, The New York Review of Books, 27 Apr. 2021 Conclusively linking her great-grandfather to his primary slaveholder was a triumph for Karen. Ann Banks, Smithsonian Magazine, 19 Aug. 2020

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

1769, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for slaveholder

Time Traveler

The first known use of slaveholder was in 1769

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Dictionary Entries Near slaveholder

slave driver


slave labor

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Statistics for slaveholder

Last Updated

17 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slaveholder.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for slaveholder



English Language Learners Definition of slaveholder

US : a person who owns slaves


slave·​hold·​er | \ ˈslāv-ˌhōl-dər How to pronounce slaveholder (audio) \

Kids Definition of slaveholder

: an owner of slaves

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