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verb (used with object), en·slaved, en·slav·ing.
  1. to make a slave of; reduce to slavery: His drug addiction has completely enslaved him.
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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


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for enslavement

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • 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


  1. (tr) to make a slave of; reduce to slavery; subjugate
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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.

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper