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galley slave

a person condemned to work at an oar on a galley.
a drudge.
Origin of galley slave
First recorded in 1560-70 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for galley slave
Historical Examples
  • A galley slave, for instance, has the privilege of stealing with impunity.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • The editor of a daily paper may be aptly compared to a galley slave.

    Odd Volume Various
  • "I should look well as a galley slave," remarked Jack, laughing.

    The Slave of the Mine Bracebridge Hemyng
  • But with all its dangers it is likely to last as long as that of a galley slave.

    Beric the Briton G. A. Henty
  • When the great reformer was a galley slave they gave him the image to worship. '

    Kit Musgrave's Luck

    Harold Bindloss
  • With brutal insult, they chained him to the oar as a galley slave.

  • A galley slave carried the noble lady on his shoulders as he swam to shore.

  • He had promised never to sacrifice his brother; the promise held him like the fetters of a galley slave.

    Under Two Flags Ouida [Louise de la Ramee]
  • By these means, and by working like a galley slave, he dragged his expenditure down almost to a level with his income.

    A Simpleton Charles Reade
  • Intensely ambitious, she worked like a galley slave and soon mastered French so that she wrote it with ease and vigor.

    Modern English Books of Power George Hamlin Fitch
British Dictionary definitions for galley slave

galley slave

a criminal or slave condemned to row in a galley
(informal) a drudge
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
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