- a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
- a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person: a slave to a drug.
- a drudge: a housekeeping slave.
- a slave ant.
- Photography. a subsidiary flash lamp actuated through its photoelectric cell when the principal flash lamp is discharged.
- Machinery. a mechanism under control of and repeating the actions of a similar mechanism.Compare master(def 19).
- to work like a slave; drudge.
- to engage in the slave trade; procure, transport, or sell slaves.
- to connect (a machine) to a master as its slave.
- Archaic. to enslave.
Origin of slave
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
- a member of a group of Athabaskan-speaking North American Indians living in the upper Mackenzie River valley region of the Northwest Territories and in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon Territory.
Examples from the Web for slave
Now that Collette had left La Domaine, who was she a slave to, Collette or R?
He said, too, that after being accepted as a slave to Mistress Couple, he has made massive strides psychologically.
Targeting her upper back, Couple sat cross-legged on a table while she whipped her slave.
By giving an artistic veto to a madman, we submit to the mindset of a slave.The Sony Hack and America’s Craven Capitulation To Terror
December 19, 2014
In the Bible, Moses does kill a guy—the Egyptian slave master who is beating an Israelite to death.Christian Bale: One Man's Moses Is Another Man's Terrorist
Candida Moss, Joel Baden
December 7, 2014
The spirit and the gifts of freedom ill assort with the condition of a slave.
No one of our kindred must enter the family of Pericles as a slave.
The Athenian slave laws were much more mild than modern codes.
A little of it is all right—but don't be a slave to your passions.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
Making him her slave, she kept him at the very height of bliss.Malbone
Thomas Wentworth Higginson
- a person legally owned by another and having no freedom of action or right to property
- a person who is forced to work for another against his will
- a person under the domination of another person or some habit or influencea slave to television
- a person who works in harsh conditions for low pay
- a device that is controlled by or that duplicates the action of another similar device (the master device)
- (as modifier)slave cylinder
- (intr often foll by away) to work like a slave
- (tr) an archaic word for enslave
Word Origin and History for slave
late 13c., "person who is the chattel or property of another," from Old French esclave (13c.), from Medieval Latin Sclavus "slave" (source also of Italian schiavo, French esclave, Spanish esclavo), originally "Slav" (see Slav); so used in this secondary sense because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples.
This sense development arose in the consequence of the wars waged by Otto the Great and his successors against the Slavs, a great number of whom they took captive and sold into slavery. [Klein]
Meaning "one who has lost the power of resistance to some habit or vice" is from 1550s. Applied to devices from 1904, especially those which are controlled by others (cf. slave jib in sailing, similarly of locomotives, flash bulbs, amplifiers). Slave-driver is attested from 1807; extended sense of "cruel or exacting task-master" is by 1854. Slate state in U.S. history is from 1812. Slave-trade is attested from 1734.
Old English Wealh "Briton" also began to be used in the sense of "serf, slave" c.850; and Sanskrit dasa-, which can mean "slave," apparently is connected to dasyu- "pre-Aryan inhabitant of India." More common Old English words for slave were þeow (related to þeowian "to serve") and þræl (see thrall). The Slavic words for "slave" (Russian rab, Serbo-Croatian rob, Old Church Slavonic rabu) are from Old Slavic *orbu, from the PIE root *orbh- (also source of orphan), the ground sense of which seems to be "thing that changes allegiance" (in the case of the slave, from himself to his master). The Slavic word is also the source of robot.
Indian tribe of northwestern Canada, 1789, from slave (n.), translating Cree (Algonquian) awahkan "captive, slave."
1550s, "to enslave," from slave (n.). The meaning "work like a slave" is first recorded 1719. Related: Slaved; slaving.