slay

verb
\ ˈslā How to pronounce slay (audio) \
slew\ ˈslü How to pronounce slew (audio) \ also especially in sense 2 slayed; slain\ ˈslān How to pronounce slain (audio) \; slaying; slays

Definition of slay

1 transitive : to kill violently, wantonly, or in great numbers slay the enemy This was the appearance of a dreadful epidemic which in that age, and long before and afterward, was wont to slay its hundreds and thousands on both sides of the Atlantic.— Nathaniel Hawthorne broadly : to strike down : kill slay a dragon "It's a lot easier to slay a vampire with a stake in the heart than it is to slay some of our demons that are in our heads." — Rachel T. Hill
2 transitive informal : to delight or amuse immensely slayed the audience … [Seth Rogen] is currently slaying critics with Superbad, which he co-wrote with Evan Goldberg.— Tanner Stransky
3 transitive + intransitive informal : to do something or perform exceptionally well or impressively : to be exceptionally impressive From the Let Girls Learn initiative to her Vogue covers, [Yara Shahidi] slays it all.— Rebecca Sun Beyoncé did not come to this year's Grammy Awards just to slay, she came to make a statement.— Jackie Fields From the red carpet to her sure-to-be epic performance, one thing is for certain—she's gonna slay.— Quinn Keaney

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Other Words from slay

slayer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for slay

Synonyms

carry off, claim, croak [slang], destroy, dispatch, do in, fell, kill, take

Antonyms

animate

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Choose the Right Synonym for slay

kill, slay, murder, assassinate, dispatch, execute mean to deprive of life. kill merely states the fact of death caused by an agency in any manner. killed in an accident frost killed the plants slay is a chiefly literary term implying deliberateness and violence but not necessarily motive. slew thousands of the Philistines murder specifically implies stealth and motive and premeditation and therefore full moral responsibility. convicted of murdering a rival assassinate applies to deliberate killing openly or secretly often for political motives. terrorists assassinated the Senator dispatch stresses quickness and directness in putting to death. dispatched the sentry with one bullet execute stresses putting to death as a legal penalty. executed by lethal gas

Examples of slay in a Sentence

The knight slew the dragon. millions have been slain worldwide by this dreadful disease

Recent Examples on the Web

Four people found murdered in a West Philly basement last year were slain because their killers wanted to steal drugs to resell, police said. Ray Boyd, https://www.inquirer.com, "Overdose death changes two families forever; The future of Germantown High School | Morning Newsletter," 6 June 2019 Northern Territory Police Commissioner Reece Kershaw told reporters that four men were slain and a woman was wounded when the shooter opened fire at five sites in the city of Darwin. The Washington Post, The Mercury News, "At least four dead in Darwin, Australia, shooting," 4 June 2019 At home, a grieving woman with a household broom tries to wash rivers of blood from the alleyway where her kin was slain. Fox News, "No going home for many Hondurans deported back to brutality," 30 Aug. 2018 The Met Gala has come and gone, but like every year people are still talking about the celebrities that slayed the red carpet and their crazy glam looks. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "People Are Really Pissed At This Comment James Charles Made About His Met Gala Appearance," 8 May 2019 And Ruya's mother Bifituu Kadir is mourning her little girl, slain in the very community that was supposed to keep her safe. Rebecca Boone, chicagotribune.com, "Refugee who fled violence mourns 3-year-old daughter slain at her birthday party in Idaho," 4 July 2018 The senior class from the Florida high school where 17 people died in a mass shooting in February honored four members slain in the attack at Sunday's graduation while others planned the next phase of their campaign to stop gun violence. Oren Dorell, USA TODAY, "Parkland students honor those lost at graduation, plan next phase for their gun-control movement," 3 June 2018 The effort is backed by a California billionaire whose sister, Marsalee Nicholas, was slain in 1983. Adam Beam, The Seattle Times, "Kentucky judge blocks certification of ‘Marsy’s Law’ vote," 15 Oct. 2018 Anastasia Beverly Hills is slaying the makeup game with several exciting new launches this year, including its Dipbrow Gel, Loose Highlighter, and Dewy Set Setting Spray, all of which have been major hits with fans so far. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Anastasia Beverly Hills Is Dropping a New Foundation in 50 Shades This Summer," 24 Apr. 2019

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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for slay

Middle English slen, from Old English slēan to strike, slay; akin to Old High German slahan to strike, Middle Irish slachta stricken

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Dictionary Entries near slay

Slavophile

Slavophilism

slaw

slay

slaying

SLBM

SLC

Statistics for slay

Last Updated

10 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slay

The first known use of slay was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for slay

slay

verb

English Language Learners Definition of slay

literary : to kill (someone or something) especially in a battle or war
US : to kill (someone)
chiefly US, informal + old-fashioned : to delight or amuse (someone) very much

slay

verb
\ ˈslā How to pronounce slay (audio) \
slew\ ˈslü \; slain\ ˈslān \; slaying

Kids Definition of slay

Other Words from slay

slayer noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on slay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slay

Spanish Central: Translation of slay

Nglish: Translation of slay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slay for Arabic Speakers

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