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90s Slang You Should Know


[sley] /sleɪ/
verb (used with object), slew or slayed, (especially for def 4); slain; slaying.
to kill by violence.
to destroy; extinguish.
  1. to impress strongly; overwhelm, especially by humor:
    Your jokes slay me.
  2. to make a strong impression with:
    She really slayed her performance last night.
Obsolete. to strike.
verb (used without object), slew or slayed, (especially for def 7); slain; slaying.
to kill or murder.
Slang. to strongly impress or overwhelm someone:
His whole album slays.
Origin of slay
before 900; Middle English sleen, slayn, Old English slēan; cognate with Dutch slaan, German schlagen, Old Norse slā, Gothic slahan “to strike, beat”
Related forms
slayable, adjective
slayer, noun
unslayable, adjective
1. murder, slaughter, massacre, butcher, assassinate. 2. annihilate, ruin.


or slay, sleigh

[sley] /sleɪ/
noun, plural sleys.
the reed of a loom.
the warp count in woven fabrics.
British. the lay of a loom.
verb (used with object)
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.
before 1050; Middle English sleye, Old English slege weaver's reed; akin to Dutch slag, German Schlag, Old Norse slag, Gothic slahs a blow; see slay Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for slay
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • How could you slay an innocent girl without the least provocation?

    Myths & Legends of Japan F. Hadland (Frederick Hadland) Davis
  • He has hidden himself, but I shall find him and I will slay him.

    The Children of Odin Padraic Colum
  • Clothes like those worn by his white brothers, and a sword to slay his enemies.

    Sea-Dogs All! Tom Bevan
  • And only Gungnir, the spear of Odin, might slay Gulveig, who was not of mortal race.

    The Children of Odin Padraic Colum
  • The two might make a good fight and slay some of their foes, but in any event they would certainly be taken or killed.

    The Forest Runners Joseph A. Altsheler
British Dictionary definitions for slay


verb (transitive) slays, slaying, slew, slain
(archaic or literary) to kill, esp violently
(slang) to impress (someone) sexually
(obsolete) to strike
Derived Forms
slayer, noun
Word Origin
Old English slēan; related to Old Norse slā, Gothic, Old High German slahan to strike, Old Irish slacaim I beat
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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Word Origin and History for slay

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."


"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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for slay



To impress someone powerfully, esp to provoke violent and often derisive laughter: Pardon me, this will slay you/ The boys who slay me are the ones who have set pieces to recite when they answer the phone (1593+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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