\ ˈslā \
slew\ ˈslü \ also especially in sense 2 slayed; slain\ ˈslān \; slaying

Definition of slay

transitive verb

1 : to kill violently, wantonly, or in great numbers broadly : to strike down : kill
2 : to delight or amuse immensely slayed the audience

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Other Words from slay

slayer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for slay


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



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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

Towns are marked by their cathedrals, convents and roadside shrines, where the Virgin watches passing traffic or St. George slays the dragon. Tim Sullivan, The Seattle Times, "AP finds long history of nuns abused by priests in India," 1 Jan. 2019 Getty Images Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott completely slayed the 2018 VMAs red carpet earlier this evening (albeit separately), and now Travis is doing the same onstage. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Watch Kylie Jenner Adorably Support Travis Scott During His VMAs Performance," 21 Aug. 2018 But in a post-recession era that slayed many designers who reluctantly took on investors (Rucci comes to mind, again) classic hard-headedness is what probably saved Hian’s business. Elizabeth Wellington,, "Welcome to Paula Hian's King of Prussia pop-up | Elizabeth Wellington," 12 July 2018 Now read more about how Sephora slays: Done reading? Kristin Corpuz, Allure, "Sephora Just Announced Its First Black Friday Deal and It’s Even Better Than We Imagined," 2 Nov. 2018 Cara Delevingne has continually slayed with her looks on the runway and her IRL outings. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Cara Delevingne Revealed Her Beauty Secrets and Makeup Must-Haves," 4 Oct. 2018 Near-term volatility is unlikely to slay the company’s long-term value. Elizabeth Winkler, WSJ, "Hasbro’s Holiday Cheer May Be Delayed by Toys “R” Us Bankruptcy," 22 Oct. 2018 Model and actress Cara Delevingne is always one to slay the fashion game. Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, "Cara Delevingne Rocked a Stuffed Monkey as a Face Accessory," 20 Oct. 2018 That Cavs team probably isn't experienced enough to slay the Warriors in 2015, especially if Irving suffers the same knee troubles. The Crossover Staff,, "What's LeBron's Best Option This Summer? Debating 10 Teams and One Crazy Idea," 5 June 2018

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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Statistics for slay

Last Updated

7 Jan 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slay

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

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English Language Learners Definition of slay

: to kill (someone or something) especially in a battle or war

: to kill (someone)

: to delight or amuse (someone) very much


\ ˈslā \
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

Comments on slay

What made you want to look up slay? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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