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 Authorities quickly took action, sending health workers to test residents in the slum and conduct contact tracing -- but the number of cases in the slums and broader Mumbai exploded nonetheless in the following weeks. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "India's richest city should have been its most prepared for coronavirus. So why does Mumbai have the country's highest infection rate?," 11 June 2020 On April 1, Mumbai's Dharavi slum -- one of the biggest slums in Asia -- confirmed its first coronavirus death. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "India's richest city should have been its most prepared for coronavirus. So why does Mumbai have the country's highest infection rate?," 11 June 2020 Some armed groups are imposing curfews to enforce quarantines and bringing in nurses to care for the sick in slum areas, strengthening their power over residents as a kind of shadow government. Annette Idler, The Conversation, "Venezuelan migrants face crime, conflict and coronavirus at Colombia’s closed border," 5 June 2020 The slum in El Salvador where María Graciela Barrera lives is dotted with white flags, outside homes, serving as distress signals that people inside don’t have enough food. Santiago Pérez, WSJ, "Remittances, a Lifeline for El Salvador, Plummet Amid Pandemic," 4 June 2020 Each day the slum's poorest – often migrant workers originally from elsewhere in the country – line the main street waiting for food handouts from Dharavi Diary and other volunteers, groups, and government agencies. Yirmiyan Arthur, The Christian Science Monitor, "In India's slums, neighbors unite against a pandemic," 4 June 2020 One is an aspiring actress named Lovely, who also lives in the slum. James Wood, The New Yorker, "A Début Novel’s Immersive Urgency," 1 June 2020 In the slum cluster of Dharavi, the pace is now 20 days instead of three in April. Time, "Bodies Are Being Left in Hospital Beds in Mumbai as Coronavirus Overwhelms India’s Financial Capital," 1 June 2020 Muungano wa Wanavijiji, the Kenyan federation of slum dwellers, is tracking data on Covid-19 cases, as well as prevention and treatment activities, in the country’s informal settlements. Flavie Halais, Wired, "Cities in Poorer Countries Are at Risk as Covid-19 Spreads," 1 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In Barton Fink and Hail, Caesar! the Coen Brothers conjured a world of slumming playwrights banging out scripts, blowhard studio execs chomping cigars and feisty gossip columnists digging for dirt on ridiculously fertile ground. Judy Berman, Time, "Netflix's Hollywood Is a Lush Golden Age Fantasy With a Strangely Naive Worldview," 29 Apr. 2020 Along with goths, drag queens, rockers, leather boys and slumming socialites, the Limelight became the home to the ’90s club kid moment. Alex Williams, New York Times, "Peter Gatien, the ’90s ‘Club King,’ Wants His Final Say," 2 Apr. 2020 The already legendary guitarist gets extra kudos for slumming it and taking the tube to The O2, rather than a limo. Richard Smirke, Billboard, "10 Things You Didn't See on TV at the 2020 Brit Awards," 19 Feb. 2020 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

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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Statistics for slum

Last Updated

4 Jul 2020

Cite this Entry

“Slum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/slum. Accessed 14 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for slum

slum

noun
How to pronounce slum (audio)

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

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