\ 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

Other Words from slay

slayer noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for slay



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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 That’s a lot of waiting around in the clubhouse on days when there’s not much to do besides strike up a spirited game of table tennis, or watch José Ramírez slay the competition in Mario Kart. Joe Noga, cleveland, 21 July 2022 Of course, Bella knew with her *magical style intuition* that this hip tattoo moment would slay during her special night. Seventeen, 19 July 2022 As America's Got Talent season 17 continues to showcase incredible acts this summer, one thing is for certain: judge Sofía Vergara always knows how to slay the fashion game. Adrianna Freedman, Good Housekeeping, 12 July 2022 The titular castle was a massive set lorded over by Kitano, and in each episode from 88 to 142 people tried to surmount obstacles to slay the King in his lair. PCMAG, 22 June 2022 In the climactic moments of the final episode, Hopper used the sword to slay the monster like something straight out of an old fantasy movie. Philip Ellis, Men's Health, 5 July 2022 Gorr, his eyes now yellow with rabid fury, gains possession of an ancient weapon known as the Necrosword, which has the ability to slay gods but corrupts and infects those who wield it. Owen Gleiberman, Variety, 5 July 2022 On the contrary, the excitement of the job – being radio-ready country music's most instantaneously recognizable female name – felt like her call to arms to slay a live crowd already blown away by Luke Combs' phenomenal set just 90 minutes prior. Marcus K. Dowling, USA TODAY, 12 June 2022 For anyone searching for the optimal hydrating shampoo, the Moisturizing and Detangling Shampoo from Mielle is here to slay. Grooming Playbook, The Salt Lake Tribune, 2 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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Last Updated

5 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Slay.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for slay


\ 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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