slum

noun, often attributive
\ ˈsləm How to pronounce slum (audio) \

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

Between 60 percent and 65 percent of its 20 million inhabitants live in slums, according to local authorities. Olivia P. Tallet, Houston Chronicle, "Houston sends humanitarian medical shipment to Karachi," 18 July 2019 Around 820,000 people live in slums in Chennai, according to a 2017 report from the Tamil Nadu government. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "More than 500 arrested after protests and clashes as India water crisis worsens," 20 June 2019 Now, critics say, Maduro is hitting back by sending security forces into the slums to try to suppress dissent. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "Deadly crackdown stokes fear among protesters in Venezuela," 20 Feb. 2019 This years-in-the-making, panoramic story follows the Portagana family from the slums of Manila across four continents. John Timpane, https://www.inquirer.com, "Big summer books for 2019 by Mark Haddon, Elizabeth Gilbert, Colson Whitehead, Tan France," 5 June 2019 Living the high life What makes South Africa an appealing study site is its high levels of income inequality, as well as burgeoning urban areas with housing ranging from wealthy, Westernized dwellings to slums, Chamberlain says. Carrie Arnold, National Geographic, "Why birds prefer wealthy neighborhoods in South Africa," 3 June 2019 Beneath the Sept of Baelor and the slums of Flea Bottom. Glamour, "This Season 1 Scene With Jaime and Jon Might Predict the Game of Thrones Finale," 14 May 2019 An entire family in one of Chennai's slums gets just 30-40 liters (about 8-10 gallons) of water every day, said Venkatasan. Jessie Yeung, Helen Regan And Swati Gupta, CNN, "India's sixth biggest city is almost entirely out of water," 19 June 2019 Now that the infrastructure has improved and initial acute health problems, such as severe injuries and epidemics, have been overcome, the aid workers here face the same day-to-day public health challenges of any large slum. Gaia Vince, Quartz, "How to survive in the world’s largest refugee camp," 8 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Toffs in the Tory party who despise liberal meddlers had the momentum at last behind their cause, as well as the thrill of slumming it with boisterous blue-collar types. Tina Brown, Time, "Tina Brown: How Britain Lost the Plot Over Brexit," 6 June 2019 Abby’s beloved grandfather (Ron Cephas Jones, slumming it) gives her an old-fashioned wooden advent calendar. Constance Grady, Vox, "The Holiday Calendar is Netflix’s latest stab at the Hallmark Christmas movie template. It’s … fine.," 2 Nov. 2018 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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Dictionary Entries near slum

sluicy

sluing arch

sluit

slum

slumber

slumberland

slumberous

Statistics for slum

Last Updated

21 Jul 2019

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
British, informal : a very untidy place

slum

verb

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

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

slum

noun
\ ˈsləm How to pronounce slum (audio) \

Kids Definition of slum

: a very poor crowded dirty section especially of a city

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More from Merriam-Webster on slum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slum

Spanish Central: Translation of slum

Nglish: Translation of slum for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of slum for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about slum

Comments on slum

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