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

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 At this point, deficits are almost amusing to the giant-slaying Collegiate boys soccer team. Nate Bryan, The Courier-Journal, "Collegiate boys soccer comes from behind to roll past Bullitt East in state tournament," 23 Oct. 2019 The Los Angeles rock band that seemed to play every North American city in 2019 isn't done slaying quite yet. Dave Brooks, Billboard, "'Reignwolf 4' Shows Band's Epic Road Run with The Who and Wu-Tang Clan: Exclusive Video Premiere," 18 Oct. 2019 The makeshift family unit that slays together stays together in Zombieland: Double Tap, Director Ruben Fleischer's follow-up to his 2009 hit film Zombieland. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Review: Zombieland: Double Tap delivers wise-cracking, brain-splattering fun," 18 Oct. 2019 Security forces dispatched to the scene found officers slain and injured with bullet wounds, their vehicles shot up and two of them on fire, the statement said. Jack Guy, CNN, "Thirteen police killed in Mexico cartel ambush," 15 Oct. 2019 The horrible rite continued until the Athenian hero Theseus came to Crete, entered the Labyrinth, and slew the beast. Amaranta Sbardella, National Geographic, "The monstrous Minotaur riveted ancient Greece and Rome," 1 Oct. 2019 Southampton and Leicester City inflicted defeats in their last two home fixtures, meaning Chris Wilder's men must slay some giants on Saturday or let go of a 27-year-old record. SI.com, "Sheffield United vs Liverpool: 7 Facts & Stats to Impress Your Mates Ahead of Premier League Clash," 28 Sep. 2019 Now the competition is sharing its observations with regulators of all stripes, all eager to make their bones slaying a giant. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Facebook May Be Nasty But That’s Not the Real Question—Data Sheet," 24 Sep. 2019 Hundreds of people flooded a northeast-side church Saturday afternoon to mourn two teen siblings found slain in their Indianapolis home late last month. Robert Scheer, Indianapolis Star, "'This is not normal': Hundreds of mourners gather to remember teen siblings found shot in their home," 7 Sep. 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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Statistics for slay

Last Updated

11 Nov 2019

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
How to pronounce slay (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slay

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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