- 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 slay
“It brings me little joy to approach anyone and slay them,” he said.Beheading Terrorist: Blame Blair
December 4, 2013
Their initiation is to slay an infant in front of its mother in order to remove any semblance of humanity or emotion.‘Game of Thrones’ Season 3 for Dummies
March 27, 2013
But because these tax cuts have powerful, well-connected constituencies, it has been difficult to slay them.Fiscal Cliff Hostage Situation Day 14: The Thelma & Louise Caucus
November 21, 2012
It was only a matter of time before these two enormous egos would clash—and try to slay each other.France's Favorite Philosopher Does Battle
Janine di Giovanni
January 21, 2011
Even when she's forced to slay a dragon, she's on autopilot, going through the motions.Alice, Bratty in Wonderland
February 28, 2010
The sphinx did not slay herself until her riddle had been guessed.The Hall of Fantasy (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
When Cain wished to slay his brother, he was at no loss for a weapon.Earth's Holocaust (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
I will mend the sword and Siegfried shall use it to slay the dragon.Opera Stories from Wagner
Sometimes they slay their own wives, and invite their neighbours to the repast.Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II
Francis Augustus Cox
He will slay more men in a day than a troop of horse in a ten-mile chase.Micah Clarke
Arthur Conan Doyle
- archaic, or literary to kill, esp violently
- slang to impress (someone) sexually
- obsolete to strike
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."