slew

noun
\ ˈslü How to pronounce slew (audio) \

Definition of slew

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: a large number a slew of books

slew

Definition of slew (Entry 2 of 4)

past tense of slay

slew

verb
\ ˈslü How to pronounce slew (audio) \
variants: or less commonly
slewed also slued; slewing also sluing; slews also slues

Definition of slew (Entry 3 of 4)

transitive verb

1 : to turn (something, such as a telescope or a ship's spar) about a fixed point that is usually the axis
2 : to cause to skid : veer slew a car around a turn

intransitive verb

1 : to turn, twist, or swing about : pivot
2 : skid

slew

Definition of slew (Entry 4 of 4)

less common spelling of 1b

Did you know?

Slew appeared as an American colloquialism in the early 19th century. Its origins are unclear, but it is perhaps taken from the Irish slua, a descendant of Old Irish slúag, meaning "army," "host," or "throng." Slew has several homographs (words that are spelled alike but different in meaning, derivation, or pronunciation) in English. These include: slew as the past tense of the verb slay; slew as a spelling variant of slough, a word which is also commonly pronounced \SLOO\ and which means "swamp," "an inlet on a river," or "a creek in a marsh or tide flat"; and the verb slew, meaning "to turn, veer, or skid."

Examples of slew in a Sentence

Noun He has written a slew of books. we still have a slew of work to do on this project Verb He slewed the telescope three degrees south.

First Known Use of slew

Noun

1839, in the meaning defined above

Verb

circa 1769, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for slew

Noun

perhaps from Irish slua army, host, throng, from Old Irish slúag; akin to Lithuanian slaugyti to tend

Verb

origin unknown

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Cite this Entry

“Slew.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slew. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for slew

slew

Kids Definition of slew

past tense of slay

More from Merriam-Webster on slew

Nglish: Translation of slew for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slew for Arabic Speakers

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