slave driver

See synonyms for slave driver on
  1. an overseer of enslaved laborers and enforcer of hierarchy and discipline in the institution of chattel slavery.

  2. a hard taskmaster: His boss was a slave driver.

Origin of slave driver

An Americanism dating back to 1800–10 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use slave driver in a sentence

  • Colleagues describe Kashkari as sharp, meticulous, and something of a slave driver, despite having a lighthearted sense of humor.

  • No doubt you would give free play to the strap and the rawhide and other implements of the slave-driver.

    A Little Union Scout | Joel Chandler Harris
  • Next came a swaggering bully of a slave-driver, evidently bred in the North.

  • She had in her beautiful kindness redeemed his soul from ignorance, as she had purchased his body from the slave-driver's lash.

    Silent Struggles | Ann S. Stephens
  • This was a sight not new; but in their midst he caught a glimpse of a crested helmet and the black cloak of a slave-driver.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales | C. Bryson Taylor
  • He neglected his carving, waged bloody battles with his fellow workmen, bullied Master Tobias like any slave-driver.

    Nicanor - Teller of Tales | C. Bryson Taylor

British Dictionary definitions for slave-driver


  1. (esp formerly) a person forcing slaves to work

  2. an employer who demands excessively hard work from his employees

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