verb (used with object), en·slaved, en·slav·ing.

to make a slave of; reduce to slavery: His drug addiction has completely enslaved him.

Origin of enslave

First recorded in 1635–45; en-1 + slave
Related formsen·slave·ment, nounen·slav·er, nounre·en·slave, verb (used with object), re·en·slaved, re·en·slav·ing.re·en·slave·ment, nounun·en·slaved, adjective

Synonyms for enslave

Antonyms for enslave

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for enslavement

servitude, slavery, subjection

Examples from the Web for enslavement

Contemporary Examples of enslavement

Historical Examples of enslavement

  • He is no party to his own enslavement,—he is none to his disenthralment.

  • I execrate the enslavement of the mind of our young children by the ecclesiastics.

  • But ask the slave what is his condition—what his state of mind—what he thinks of enslavement?

    My Bondage and My Freedom

    Frederick Douglass

  • The South had begun by agreeing reluctantly to the enslavement of men.

    What I Saw in America

    G. K. Chesterton

  • This enslavement was not to foreign rulers, but to those of their own blood.


    Calvin Elliott

British Dictionary definitions for enslavement



(tr) to make a slave of; reduce to slavery; subjugate
Derived Formsenslavement, nounenslaver, noun
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

Word Origin and History for enslavement

1690s, from enslave + -ment.



1640s, from en- (1) "make, put in" + slave (n.). Related: Enslaved; enslaving.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper