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

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 Needless to say, we couldn't be more pumped for the premiere and can't wait to see Williams and Turner slay their last season. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Game of Thrones Stars Maisie Williams and Sophie Turner Look So Different on the Cover of Rolling Stone," 27 Mar. 2019 Fortunately, her brother, Frankie Grande slayed the orange carpet in her place. Yerin Kim, Seventeen, "Here's Why Ariana Grande Isn't At the 2019 Kids' Choice Awards," 24 Mar. 2019 Regardless, Hyland is slaying the shag game and hitting us with some serious spring hair inspiration. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Sarah Hyland Just Debuted a New Shag Haircut, and She’s Almost Unrecognizable," 20 Mar. 2019 After a vicious fight, Jamie (of course) slays him and brings his body to the Indians. Outlander Fan, Marie Claire, "5 Biggest Takeaways From 'Outlander' Season 4 Episode 4," 26 Nov. 2018 To say Porter slayed in the ensemble is an understatement. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Billy Porter Slays in a Christian Siriano Tuxedo Dress on the Oscars Red Carpet," 24 Feb. 2019 With the exception, of course, of Timmy absolutely slaying every red carpet. Cady Drell, Marie Claire, "This Week in Timothée Chalamet, February 22 Edition," 22 Feb. 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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Learn More about slay

Dictionary Entries near slay

Slavophile

Slavophilism

slaw

slay

slaying

SLBM

SLC

Statistics for slay

Last Updated

13 May 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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