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

In the latter, good generally wins out, however messily: Dragons get slain, witches are shoved into ovens, simpletons land fortunes, and so on. Bruce Handy, The Atlantic, "The Peanuts Characters Aren’t Ordinary Kids," 29 Aug. 2019 Indeed, the gunman who killed 22 people at a Walmart store in El Paso on Aug. 3 pushed the total number of victims slain in domestic right- wing terrorism since 2002 to 109. Author: Del Quentin Wilber, Anchorage Daily News, "FBI struggles to confront right-wing terrorism," 11 Aug. 2019 Just think of the families of those nine people slain in the AME church in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015, who offered forgiveness to the alleged shooter, Dylan Roof. Dr. Sanjay Gupta, CNN, "Dr. Sanjay Gupta: The epidemic of gun violence is treatable," 6 Aug. 2019 As the sun set over downtown San Antonio, a crowd gathered Sunday in front of San Fernando Cathedral to condemn acts of hate and mourn 29 people slain in mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend. Marina Starleaf Riker, ExpressNews.com, "Vigil held in San Antonio for those slain in El Paso and Dayton," 5 Aug. 2019 The bride-to-be, of course, slayed in a white one-piece with matching floral veil. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Culture Critic and Author Luvvie Ajayi's Bachelorette Trip To Anguilla Gave Us Major Squad Goals," 29 July 2019 So, in the first of those tales, Hitler is slain before the end of the war; in the second, a former slave destroys a plantation. Anthony Lane, The New Yorker, "Quentin Tarantino Tweaks History in “Once Upon a Time . . . in Hollywood”," 26 July 2019 Beyoncé is celebrating slain rapper Nipsey Hussle on what would have been his 34th birthday. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Beyoncé Remembers Slain Rapper Nipsey Hussle on His Birthday: 'True Kings Never Die'," 15 Aug. 2019 Midnight Friday and Saturday 2707 Commercial Center, Katy; drafthouse.com/houston A half-vampire, half-mortal man becomes a protector of the mortal race, while slaying evil vampires. Houston Chronicle, "Outside the Megaplex: Here are the Houston arthouse movies showing Aug. 16-22," 15 Aug. 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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Dictionary Entries near slay

Slavophile

Slavophilism

slaw

slay

slaying

SLBM

SLC

Statistics for slay

Last Updated

2 Sep 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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