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 Then, when the day comes, use the tips from our industry experts mentioned above to slay your special day. Essence, 2 June 2021 With the regular season winding down, there’s no choice but to slay out. Sean Collins, Dallas News, 1 June 2021 The best teams have people who have a high drive to achieve, to hit the grand slam, slay the dragon, or complete the Hail Mary pass. Jeanet Wade, Forbes, 26 May 2021 Farmers, prepare for the future: there's a new robot on the block that can slay 100,000 weeds per hour—all night, every night. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, 6 May 2021 The multihyphenate went on to slay the performance — in a Mastodon shirt — showing off her heavy metal vocal chops as her proud mom looked on. Jolie Lash, EW.com, 5 May 2021 Comics such as Chris Rock and Billy Crystal used to slay. Kyle Smith, National Review, 26 Apr. 2021 Find out who sashays away and who lives to slay another day after the semifinals taking place in the latest chapter of the show airing tonight, April 9, at 8 p.m. on VH1. oregonlive, 10 Apr. 2021 Their reasons for doing so range from the desire to help their fellow man to the thrill of being able to slay a digital dragon. NBC News, 5 Apr. 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

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for slay

Last Updated

6 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Slay.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slay. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

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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

More from Merriam-Webster on slay

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slay

Nglish: Translation of slay for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slay for Arabic Speakers

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