- past participle of slay.
- to kill by violence.
- to destroy; extinguish.
- to impress strongly; overwhelm, especially by humor: Your jokes slay me.
- to make a strong impression with: She really slayed her performance last night.
- Obsolete. to strike.
- to kill or murder.
- Slang. to strongly impress or overwhelm someone: His whole album slays.
Origin of slay
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
or slay, sleigh
- the reed of a loom.
- the warp count in woven fabrics.
- British. the lay of a loom.
- to draw (warp ends) through the heddle eyes of the harness or through the dents of the reed in accordance with a given plan for weaving a fabric.
Origin of sley
Examples from the Web for slain
Newspapers around Europe have also done so in solidarity with the slain.Why We Stand With Charlie Hebdo—And You Should Too
January 8, 2015
On Monday, de Blasio called for a temporary halt to protests until after the funerals of the two slain officers.Trayvon Martin’s Family Rejects ‘Dead Cops’ Marchers
December 24, 2014
The woman and her husband and teenage daughter were all slain.Hunt for Iraq Vet After Killing Spree
December 16, 2014
The same spiritual sense prompted the bishop to seek justice for the slain activists.Mexico’s First Lady of Murder Is on the Lam
October 29, 2014
The actual field, where Richard was unhorsed and slain in a medieval marsh, is more than a mile away to the southwest.Three Dicks: Cheney, Nixon, Richard III and the Art of Reputation Rehab
July 27, 2014
One had already been slain by a bolt, so that there were but four upon their feet.
The castle is taken and on fire, the seneschal is slain, and there is nought left for us.
The Mantineans suffered severely in their retreat, but of the Argives only a few were slain.Stories from Thucydides
H. L. Havell
His numbers were very inferior, and almost the whole were slain.Cameos from English History, from Rollo to Edward II
Charlotte Mary Yonge
Both Ned and his sister understand that their father was slain in battle, about this time.Ned Myers
James Fenimore Cooper
- the past participle of slay
- archaic, or literary to kill, esp violently
- slang to impress (someone) sexually
- obsolete to strike
Word Origin and History for slain
early 13c., from Old English (ge)slegen, past participle of slean (see slay (v.)). The noun meaning "those who have been slain" is attested from mid-14c.
Old English slean "to smite, strike, beat," also "to kill with a weapon, slaughter" (class VI strong verb; past tense sloh, slog, past participle slagen), from Proto-Germanic *slahan, from root *slog- "to hit" (cf. Old Norse and Old Frisian sla, Danish slaa, Middle Dutch slaen, Dutch slaan, Old High German slahan, German schlagen, Gothic slahan "to strike"). The Germanic words are from PIE root *slak- "to strike" (cf. Middle Irish past participle slactha "struck," slacc "sword").
Modern German cognate schlagen maintains the original sense of "to strike." Meaning "overwhelm with delight" (mid-14c.) preserves one of the wide range of meanings the word once had, including, in Old English, "stamp (coins); forge (weapons); throw, cast; pitch (a tent), to sting (of a snake); to dash, rush, come quickly; play (the harp); gain by conquest."
"instrument on a weaver's loom to beat up the weft," Old English slæ, slea, slahae, from root meaning "strike" (see slay (v.)), so called from "striking" the web together. Hence the surname Slaymaker "maker of slays."