View synonyms for slave


[ sleyv ]


  1. a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another and forced to provide unpaid labor.
  2. a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person:

    She was a slave to her own ambition.

  3. a drudge:

    a housekeeping slave.

  4. Photography. a subsidiary flash lamp actuated through its photoelectric cell when the principal flash lamp is discharged.
  5. Machinery, Computers. a device or process under control of or repeating the actions of a similar device or process. Compare master ( def 21 ).

verb (used without object)

, slaved, slav·ing.
  1. to work like a slave; drudge.

    Synonyms: grind, slog, labor, toil

  2. to engage in the slave trade; procure, transport, or sell slaves.

verb (used with object)

, slaved, slav·ing.
  1. Machinery, Computers. to connect (a device) to a master as its slave.
  2. Archaic. to enslave.


/ sleɪv /


  1. a person legally owned by another and having no freedom of action or right to property
  2. a person who is forced to work for another against his will
  3. a person under the domination of another person or some habit or influence

    a slave to television

  4. a person who works in harsh conditions for low pay
    1. a device that is controlled by or that duplicates the action of another similar device (the master device)
    2. ( as modifier )

      slave cylinder


  1. introften foll byaway to work like a slave
  2. tr an archaic word for enslave

Discover More

Other Words From

  • slaveless adjective
  • slavelike adjective
  • pro·slave adjective
  • semi·slave noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of slave1

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English sclave (also slave ), from Old French escla(i)ve, and Medieval Latin sclāvus (masculine), sclāva (feminine) “slave,” special use of Sclāvus “Slavic, a Slav, slave” (Latin does not tolerate the consonant cluster sl- and employs the cluster scl- instead); so called because Slavs in Central Europe and the Balkans were commonly enslaved in the early Middle Ages; Slav

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of slave1

C13: via Old French from Medieval Latin Sclāvus a Slav, one held in bondage (from the fact that the Slavonic races were frequently conquered in the Middle Ages), from Late Greek Sklabos a Slav

Discover More

Example Sentences

While the finds from the genetic study are largely supported by established narratives and historic records of the transatlantic slave trade, there were also inconsistencies.

From Quartz

Lawmakers, in fact, passed the Fugitive Slave Act two years after statehood, creating a legal mechanism for the return of slaves to their owners.

For the first half of the 19th century, the Senate was a bulwark for the South, with an equal balance of slave and free states despite the growing Northern population advantage.

The Republican Party was the party of Lincoln, the emancipated slaves.

According to various estimates, almost 17,000 people among the peak 50,000 population were slaves – who not only worked in households but also in the harbor and storage facilities.

By giving an artistic veto to a madman, we submit to the mindset of a slave.

In the Bible, Moses does kill a guy—the Egyptian slave master who is beating an Israelite to death.

This year McQueen picked up three Oscars (including best picture) for his third motion picture 12 Years A Slave.

For the next hour and half I was the willing sex slave of a semi-professional Master I had met through a friend.

Within the black community itself, the slave mentality is still being battled.

Gallinas, the noted slave factory on the west of Africa, purchased by the Liberian republic.

If he is indifferent to my happiness, and unjust to the woman I love, I will no longer work like a slave for him.

Although the number of slaves in the Brazils is very great, there is nowhere such a thing as a slave-market.

In Brazil, the slave-trade exists in full force; in Cuba, it is unmitigated in its extent and horrors.

In 1813, some disputes arose between the court of Rio and England on account of the slave trade.


Related Words




Slavslave ant