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

Two days later, his family said, rifle-wielding special police agents wearing black masks stormed into their home in the Caracas slum of La Vega, pulled him outside and shot him to death. Fabiola Sanchez, The Seattle Times, "Deadly crackdown stokes fear among protesters in Venezuela," 20 Feb. 2019 However, her government was criticized for its initially slow response to the Ebola epidemic and its heavy-handed tactics, including a military quarantine of West Point, the largest slum in the capital, Monrovia. Clair Macdougall, New York Times, "Ibrahim Prize for African Leadership Goes to Liberia’s Ellen Johnson Sirleaf," 12 Feb. 2018 This nation’s slums have been the backbone of the leftist government for decades, and one of few remaining bulwarks for President Nicolás Maduro. David Luhnow, WSJ, "Maduro Loses Grip on Venezuela’s Poor, a Vital Source of His Power," 19 Mar. 2019 Now, Curbed reports that the colorful towers envisioned by CRG Architects placed third in a contest that asked architects to design residential housing made from shipping containers for the slums of Mumbai. Lindsey Desimone, ELLE Decor, "UPDATE: Urban Housing Could Be Getting A Colorful New Look," 3 Sep. 2015 But the challenges and opportunities Nigeria’s government faces are apparent in the Kado Biko slum on the outskirts of Abuja. Gabriele Steinhauser, WSJ, "Extreme Poverty Concentrates in Sub-Saharan Africa," 18 Sep. 2018 For five years Khadijah Dija visited a family health clinic in the slum every three months to get a free contraceptive injection until Trump's funding cuts came into effect. Alex Platt, CNN, "Trump's ban on global abortion funding has led to more abortions," 24 May 2018 How many sons of Italian or Jewish or Polish parents slumbered in slums untaught (and) unlearned, their potential lost forever to the nation and human race? James Hohmann, Washington Post, "The Daily 202: RFK’s speech in apartheid South Africa remains relevant 50 years after his assassination," 5 June 2018 Tiny stores known as kiranas dot every Indian street, village and slum. Vibhuti Agarwal, WSJ, "India’s Biggest Competitors to Walmart and Amazon? Mom and Pop," 28 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

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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Learn More about slum

Dictionary Entries near slum

sluicy

sluing arch

sluit

slum

slumber

slumberland

slumberous

Statistics for slum

Last Updated

28 Apr 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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