slum

noun, often attributive
\ˈsləm \

Definition of slum 

(Entry 1 of 2)

: a densely populated usually urban area marked by crowding, run-down housing, poverty, and social disorganization

slum

verb
slummed; slumming

Definition of slum (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to visit slums especially out of curiosity broadly : to go somewhere or do something that might be considered beneath one's station sometimes used with it slumming it in budget hotels

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Other Words from slum

Verb

slummer noun

Examples of slum in a Sentence

Noun

He grew up in the slums of New York. His house is a slum.

Verb

He sometimes likes to go slumming in bars around the city.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The South Korean opera singer Kim Jae-chang forms and conducts a choir for children and their parents in the Indian slums of Pune in this heartwarming documentary. Sara Aridi, New York Times, "What’s on TV Monday: ‘Salvation’ and ‘Ballet 422’," 25 June 2018 Almost 1m Cairenes live in slums the government considers unsafe, without basic amenities like sewerage and water. The Economist, "Why Arab states have lots of expensive villas," 14 June 2018 Scores of buildings remain destroyed and thousands of people live in slums with overflowing sewers. Felicia Schwartz, WSJ, "Israel and Hamas Take Steps to Avoid War After Violent Cycle," 7 June 2018 Aside from the six characters in Lindsay-Abaire's play, a seventh looms large, the slum-like neighborhood of South Boston — the infamous Southie — where most of them grew up. Tom Titus, latimes.com, "On Theater: ‘Good People’ is rich in heart and humor at Chance Theater," 1 May 2018 Falcon added that several people campaigning with him through one of the largest slums in the country had been stripped of their belongings and then assaulted. Fox News, "Venezuelan presidential candidate claims physical harassment," 4 Apr. 2018 Near the turn of the century, in another landmark example, writer and photographer Jacob Riis raised awareness of poverty in New York City's immigrant slums and encouraged social reform. Julie Hinds, Detroit Free Press, "Can tape of sobbing child detainees join shocking sounds, images that have shaped history?," 20 June 2018 Political will to find a solution is weakened because of ragpickers who live in nearby slums and remove plastic from the dumps. New York Times, "‘The Dump Killed My Son’: Mountains of Garbage Engulf India’s Capital," 10 June 2018 Sprawling slums without paved roads and running water provide a steady stream of recruits into the crime armies. Ioan Grillo, The New Republic, "When Democracy Isn’t Enough," 6 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

After a couple of years slumming in Cincinnati, Hearn asked about writing for The Cincinnati Enquirer. Jeff Suess, Cincinnati.com, "Our history: Contest could provide missing piece about writer Lafcadio Hearn," 4 Apr. 2018 Auntie calls her a poser out to slum it with the blue-collars, an accusation Mildred answers with a slap. Andrea Simakis, cleveland.com, "Dobama Theatre's family show 'Sherlock Holmes: The Baker Street Irregulars' is slow going for all ages (review)," 9 Dec. 2017 No matter how huffy the establishment gets about members slumming in Trumpworld, don’t expect the holier-than-thou act to last for more than a heartbeat after said members return to the fold. Michelle Cottle, The Atlantic, "Accountability Is for Non-Celebrities," 21 Sep. 2017 What happens when Meryl Streep and Ryan Gosling, two heavenly creatures slumming it in Hollywood, meet up at a glitzy awards gala? Josh Duboff, HWD, "Meryl Streep and Ryan Gosling’s Heavenly Hollywood Meet-Up," 1 Feb. 2017 What happens when Meryl Streep and Ryan Gosling, two heavenly creatures slumming it in Hollywood, meet up at a glitzy awards gala? Josh Duboff, vanityfair.com, "Meryl Streep and Ryan Gosling’s Heavenly Hollywood Meet-Up," 1 Feb. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'slum.' 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 slum

Noun

1825, in the meaning defined above

Verb

1884, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for slum

Noun

origin unknown

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Learn More about slum

Dictionary Entries near slum

sluicy

sluing arch

sluit

slum

slumber

slumberland

slumberous

Statistics for slum

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for slum

The first known use of slum was in 1825

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More Definitions for slum

slum

noun

English Language Learners Definition of slum

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area of a city where poor people live and the buildings are in bad condition

: a very untidy place

slum

verb

English Language Learners Definition of slum (Entry 2 of 2)

: to spend time in places or conditions that are much worse than your usual places or conditions

slum

noun
\ˈsləm \

Kids Definition of slum

: a very poor crowded dirty section especially of a city

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Comments on slum

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