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 1964, civil rights workers Michael H. Schwerner, Andrew Goodman, and James E. Chaney were slain in Philadelphia, Miss.; their bodies were found buried in an earthen dam six weeks later. BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 21 June 2019 Nevertheless, another red carpet is slain by our beauty hero Lupita Nyong'o. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "Lupita Nyong'o Wore Red Contacts at the London Premiere of Us, and Fans Are Obsessed," 15 Mar. 2019 One 16-year-old girl in Chicago was slain in 2016 after responding to an ad placed by her pimp on Backpage. Author: Tom Jackman, Mark Berman, Anchorage Daily News, "Top officials at Backpage.com indicted after classifieds site taken offline," 10 Apr. 2018 The victim was found slain inside the wedded couple’s home in Greenburgh, New York, on the night of Jan. 15, 1989. Chris Harris, PEOPLE.com, "'Fatal Attraction' Killer Released From Prison After 27 Years for Murdering Lover's Wife," 18 June 2019 In Chicago, seven transgender people have been killed in the last four years; in Louisiana, the Human Rights Campaign has tracked 10 transgender murders since 2013; and in Jacksonville, Florida, three transgender women were slain last year. NBC News, "Murders of black transgender women in Dallas raise fears in LGBTQ community," 10 June 2019 Over the years, the singer and beauty mogul has religiously slayed the carpet — some years more literally than others. Sara Delgado, Teen Vogue, "BTS, Rihanna, and Ashley Tisdale Didn't Attend Met Gala 2019 — But They Did Get Photoshopped Onto the Pink Carpet," 7 May 2019 Jenny Lin On May 27, 1994, two days after her 14th birthday, Jenny was found slain in her Castro Valley home. Katie Dowd, San Francisco Chronicle, "10 Bay Area cold cases that remain unsolved," 29 Apr. 2018 More than 31 years after 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin was found slain at Myles Standish Forest in Plymouth authorities announced Sunday that a North Carolina man has been charged with her murder. Cristela Guerra, BostonGlobe.com, "North Carolina man arrested for 1986 slaying of 15-year-old Tracy Gilpin," 11 Mar. 2018

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

8 Jul 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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