- 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 for slay on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for slayer
Support for the royals rose to 35-year highs, leading some wags to dub Prince George “the Republican slayer”.Prince George’s First Year Bodes Well for the Survival of the Royals
July 22, 2014
But this slayer of bullies can often seem, well, like a bully.The Bully Waging War Against Bullies
October 10, 2013
It was necessary that the Spaniards be pacified, and the slayer could not be found.The Trail Book
He was my father, Sire, and I saw him slain—aye, and slew the slayer.Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
He was, in fact, a slayer of beasts—a foreman at the slaughter-house.The Slave Of The Lamp
Henry Seton Merriman
They sought for the slayer of their friend with diligence and zeal.
By his dress he knew that he was his pursuer and Spurling's slayer.Murder Point
- archaic, or literary to kill, esp violently
- slang to impress (someone) sexually
- obsolete to strike
Word Origin and History for slayer
late 14c., agent noun from slay (v.). The Old English agent noun was slaga "slayer, killer."
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."