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sla·​ver ˈsla-vər How to pronounce slaver (audio)
slavered; slavering ˈsla-v(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce slaver (audio)

transitive verb

archaic : to smear with or as if with saliva


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noun (1)

: saliva dribbling from the mouth


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noun (2)

slav·​er ˈslā-vər How to pronounce slaver (audio)
: a ship used in the slave trade
: a person engaged in the slave trade

Examples of slaver in a Sentence

Verb a dog slavering over a bone
Recent Examples on the Web
One decorous young professional after another is attacked and transformed into a slavering monster, until at last all the residents converge in the heated pool. Becca Rothfeld, The New Yorker, 17 Feb. 2024 Just don’t become a streak-Gollum like me, slavering miserably and alone over your treasure in a dank mental cave. John Hodgman, New York Times, 27 July 2023 It’s aided in this by the natural grandeur of its painterly environments, which, even when littered with dead bodies and slavering monsters, create an imperative to preserve a fictional world that extends beyond exposition about the importance of doing so. WIRED, 24 June 2023 Not backed up by the whole of law enforcement, mind you, because otherwise, there’d be no story, no slavering depictions of depravity, no waltz into the abyss and no righteous body count. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 22 June 2023 Barron’s company is at the front of a pack of more than a dozen enterprises slavering over the billions of dollars that could be reaped from those little subsea rocks. WIRED, 28 Feb. 2023 Technoids would slaver over the computer hardware and software. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 10 Apr. 2021
Historians say the most notorious slavers used their wealth to fund the bank or staff it. Marina Dias, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 Twenty-three states display at least one slaver, while nine states display two statues of slavers, according to Brockell. Pablo Manríquez, The New Republic, 8 Feb. 2023 Not only was its initial capital drawn from slavery, historians say; its original vice president and director were also notorious slavers. Marina Dias, Washington Post, 27 Oct. 2023 In June 2021, then–Minority Leader McCarthy joined 59 of his GOP colleagues to pass a resolution to replace a slaver bust with an artwork of Thurgood Marshall. Pablo Manríquez, The New Republic, 8 Feb. 2023 The quasi-aristocratic African slaver class, created through trade with the West, was parasitic and reliant on its connection to the slave ships sailing across the Atlantic, says M’Baye, suffocating any real political power that might have emerged in Africa. Lynsey Chutel, Quartz Africa, 13 Oct. 2020 Librettist and Boston poet laureate Porsha Olayiwola and composer Mason Bynes present a story about Igbo descendant Tobi and her reflection on the rebellion of a group of Igbo people who drowned themselves in 1803 after they were captured by slavers. Abigail Lee,, 9 June 2023 The slavers stripped him of his clothes and bound him hand and foot to the bottom of a boat. Catherine M. Cameron, Scientific American, 1 Dec. 2017 Moments later, slavers pillaging the area capture him, and kill his mother, Fatima (powerful mezzo-soprano Cierra Byrd). Adeline Sire,, 8 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'slaver.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English, of Scandinavian origin; akin to Old Norse slafra to slaver; akin to Middle Dutch slabben to slaver

Noun (2)

slave entry 1

First Known Use


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

Noun (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Noun (2)

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of slaver was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near slaver

Cite this Entry

“Slaver.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 verb
sla·​ver ˈslav-ər How to pronounce slaver (audio)
slavered; slavering -(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce slaver (audio)


2 of 2 noun
: a person or ship engaged in the slave trade

Medical Definition


1 of 2 intransitive verb
slavered; slavering -(ə-)riŋ How to pronounce slaver (audio)
: drool


2 of 2 noun
: saliva dribbling from the mouth

More from Merriam-Webster on slaver

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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