slave

noun
\ ˈslāv How to pronounce slave (audio) \

Definition of slave

 (Entry 1 of 4)

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
4 : drudge, toiler

slave

verb
slaved; slaving

Definition of slave (Entry 2 of 4)

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

slave

adjective

Definition of slave (Entry 3 of 4)

1a : 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 bankThe 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

Slave

geographical name
\ ˈslāv How to pronounce Slave (audio) \

Definition of Slave (Entry 4 of 4)

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

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Synonyms & Antonyms for slave

Synonyms: Noun

bondman (also bondsman), chattel, thrall

Synonyms: Verb

bang away, beaver (away), dig (away), drudge, endeavor, fag, grub, hump, hustle, labor, moil, peg (away), plod, plow, plug, slog, strain, strive, struggle, sweat, toil, travail, tug, work

Antonyms: Noun

freeman

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Examples of slave in a Sentence

Noun

He treats her like a slave. Do it yourself! I'm not your slave!

Verb

I slaved all morning to get the work done on time. She's been slaving away at her homework.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Southern churches that supported secession by the slave-holding states met at the congregation’s former building in 1861, and the current church was built after the war ended. Jay Reeves, The Seattle Times, "Alabama church removes pew honoring Confederate president," 10 Feb. 2019 The Spanish came in the 16th century, followed by the Dutch in the 17th, then a huge amount of Jewish refugees and African slaves in the early 18th century. Kaitlin Menza, Town & Country, "The Best Things to Do, Eat, and See in Curaçao," 8 Jan. 2019 Nearly all the juvenile roaches in the experiments failed in their defense and wound up being turned into zombie slaves. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Cockroaches deliver karate kicks to avoid being turned into “zombies”," 3 Nov. 2018 Often employing its heat to scorch patterns onto paper, fabric and wood, Mr. Cole creates art that evokes African masks, slave ships, tribal shields and other imagery. Laurel Graeber, New York Times, "9 Things to Do With Your Kids in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Towns has fashioned a series of paintings inspired by the Middle Passage and the brutal conditions aboard the slave ships. Mary Carole Mccauley, baltimoresun.com, "Artists explore American identity in Sondheim Artscape Prize exhibit," 21 June 2018 The press conference was hosted at the open-air rear of Bar Kazoola, named after Cudjoe Kazoola Lewis, the last survivor of the slave ship Clotilda. Christopher Harress, AL.com, "Attorney: Police 'brutalized' woman at Alabama Waffle House," 25 Apr. 2018 Wernher von Braun's rockets were built at Mittelwerk, an underground factory that used concentration-camp slave labor to build nearly 6,000 V-2 rockets. Alex Hollings, Popular Mechanics, "The Saturn V Story: From Nazi Roots to America's Moon Rocket," 6 Feb. 2019 Near a newspaper carrying the June 1865 announcement officially ending slavery in Texas lies a Bible belonging to the Rev. Jack Yates, the former slave who became a minister and leader in Houston’s African American community. Chris Gray, Houston Chronicle, "Expansive exhibit highlights Houston’s quiet but vital role during Civil War," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Some see the positives (like rising employment numbers), while others — including the activist group Left Eye — see WorryFree as something akin to slave labor. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "Why 'Sorry to Bother You' is the weirdest, wittiest comedy you'll see all summer," 3 July 2018 There is no need to slave over the hot oven or bathe in flour to impress the people on your holiday gift list. Indianapolis Star, "Quick-Fix Food Gifts," 5 July 2018 At the centerpiece is Seymour, the nebbish sad sack who slaves away in Mushnik's Skid Row Florist. Theodore P. Mahne, NOLA.com, "Rivertown sets up a campy and funny 'Little Shop of Horrors'," 8 May 2018 Both of the game's Windows SKUs were given new life pretty much entirely by Steam Workshop contributors who slaved away at texture packs, recoloring efforts, and other quality-of-life tweaks. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Skyrim VR is coming to PC, and it marks a Bethesda first: Oculus approval [Updated]," 14 Mar. 2018 Neither Foster or Meaher were ever convicted of the crime of slaving, though Meaher was arrested at one point for his role, and Foster was forced to pay a $1,000 fine for failing to register in port after an international trip. Ben Raines, AL.com, "Wreck found by reporter may be last American slave ship, archaeologists say," 23 Jan. 2018 The University of Mississippi is acknowledging its historical connections to slave labor, slave owners and officials who set policies that stripped African Americans of voting rights after the Civil War. Washington Post, "Ole Miss acknowledges its use of slave labor," 7 Mar. 2018 The journal of William Foster, the captain of the Clotilda, provides a detailed historical document regarding the slaving operations in Dahomey at the time of his journey. Connor Sheets, AL.com, "Hamilton woman dies in one-car crash in Frankiln County," 18 Feb. 2018 My mom was always slaving away in the kitchen with my grandma. As Told To Jonathan Kauffman And Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, "A collection of Christmas memories from Bay Area food people," 21 Dec. 2017

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.

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First Known Use of slave

Noun

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb

1602, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

Adjective

1576 , in the meaning defined at sense 1b

History and Etymology for slave

Noun

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

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Dictionary Entries near slave

slaunchways

Slav

Slavdom

slave

Slave

slave ant

slave bracelet

Statistics for slave

Last Updated

23 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slave

The first known use of slave was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for slave

slave

noun

English Language Learners Definition of slave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: someone who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for that person without pay
disapproving : a person who is strongly influenced and controlled by something

slave

verb

English Language Learners Definition of slave (Entry 2 of 2)

: to work very hard

slave

noun
\ ˈslāv How to pronounce slave (audio) \

Kids Definition of slave

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

slave

verb
slaved; slaving

Kids Definition of slave (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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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More from Merriam-Webster on slave

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slave

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slave

Spanish Central: Translation of slave

Nglish: Translation of slave for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slave for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about slave

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