slay

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

Antonyms

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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 The problems with speeding up Germany's energy transition feed into another the third main demand voiced by the country's business community—slay the bureaucratic monster. Christiaan Hetzner, Fortune, 1 Oct. 2021 Residents of the state responded to a guy who was willing to slay his party's sacred cows -- and do it with a smile on his face. Chris Cillizza, CNN, 30 Sep. 2021 Today, that outdated myth is consistently shot down by stunning beauty influencers and everyday baddies who slay the bold color with pride. Essence, 29 Sep. 2021 At least one of the Bennett sisters will slay the Met steps in New York on Monday, September 13. Samantha Olson, Seventeen, 13 Sep. 2021 But one thing is true: Beyoncé sure does know how to slay blonde hues. Gabi Thorne, Allure, 9 Sep. 2021 There's fishing, monsters to slay, quests to complete for the local townspeople, and even the possibility of a budding romance. Simon Hill, Wired, 9 Sep. 2021 Our hour-long programming is sure to help shake off any jitters and give you the confidence to slay every semester. Brooklyn White, Essence, 27 Aug. 2021 Wolves and hyenas of both sexes, for instance, will slay one another in real-estate disputes. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 20 July 2021

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 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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Time Traveler for slay

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

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Dictionary Entries Near slay

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Last Updated

4 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slay. Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for slay

slay

verb

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

slay

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

Kids Definition of slay

Other Words from slay

slayer noun

More from Merriam-Webster on slay

Nglish: Translation of slay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slay for Arabic Speakers

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