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galley slave

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noun
  1. a person condemned to work at an oar on a galley.
  2. a drudge.
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Origin of galley slave

First recorded in 1560–70
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for galley slave

galley slave

noun
  1. a criminal or slave condemned to row in a galley
  2. informal a drudge
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012