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slew

1
[sloo]
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verb
  1. simple past tense of slay.
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slew

2

or slue

[sloo]
noun Informal.
  1. a large number or quantity: a whole slew of people.
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Origin of slew

2
1830–40, Americanism; < Irish sluagh crowd, throng, army, host

slew

3
[sloo]
verb (used with or without object), noun
  1. slue1.
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slew

4
[sloo]
noun U.S., Canadian.
  1. slough1(def 3).
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slay

[sley]
verb (used with object), slew or slayed (especially for def 4); slain; slay·ing.
  1. to kill by violence.
  2. to destroy; extinguish.
  3. sley.
  4. Slang.
    1. to impress strongly; overwhelm, especially by humor: Your jokes slay me.
    2. to make a strong impression with: She really slayed her performance last night.
  5. Obsolete. to strike.
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verb (used without object), slew or slayed (especially for def 7); slain; slay·ing.
  1. to kill or murder.
  2. Slang. to strongly impress or overwhelm someone: His whole album slays.
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noun
  1. sley.
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Origin of slay

before 900; Middle English sleen, slayn, Old English slēan; cognate with Dutch slaan, German schlagen, Old Norse slā, Gothic slahan “to strike, beat”
Related formsslay·a·ble, adjectiveslay·er, nounun·slay·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for slay

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slue

1

or slew

[sloo]
verb (used with object), slued, slu·ing.
  1. to turn (a mast or other spar) around on its own axis, or without removing it from its place.
  2. to swing around.
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verb (used without object), slued, slu·ing.
  1. to turn about; swing around.
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noun
  1. the act of sluing.
  2. a position slued to.
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Origin of slue

1
First recorded in 1760–70; origin uncertain

sley

or slay, sleigh

[sley]
noun, plural sleys.
  1. the reed of a loom.
  2. the warp count in woven fabrics.
  3. British. the lay of a loom.
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verb (used with object)
  1. to draw (warp ends) through the heddle eyes of the harness or through the dents of the reed in accordance with a given plan for weaving a fabric.
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Origin of sley

before 1050; Middle English sleye, Old English slege weaver's reed; akin to Dutch slag, German Schlag, Old Norse slag, Gothic slahs a blow; see slay
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for slew

profusion, abundance, ream, multiplicity, batch, bundle, scad, plenty, aggregation, bunch, load, gathering, stockpile, pot, cluster, fullness, jumble, concentration, total, mint

Examples from the Web for slew

Contemporary Examples of slew

Historical Examples of slew

  • I strained a sinew on the day that I slew the three men at Castelnau.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Therefore your lives are justly forfeit, and none would blame us if we slew you.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • He was my father, Sire, and I saw him slain—aye, and slew the slayer.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • The hound fell without a sound, and with equal ease he slew the second.

    The Rock of Chickamauga

    Joseph A. Altsheler

  • So they drove off the best of the cattle of the Sun and slew them.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

    Josephine Preston Peabody


British Dictionary definitions for slew

slew

1
verb
  1. the past tense of slay
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slew

2

esp US slue

verb
  1. to twist or be twisted sideways, esp awkwardlyhe slewed around in his chair
  2. nautical to cause (a mast) to rotate in its step or (of a mast) to rotate in its step
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noun
  1. the act of slewing
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Word Origin for slew

C18: of unknown origin

slew

3
noun
  1. a variant spelling (esp US) of slough 1 (def. 2)
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slew

4

slue

noun
  1. informal, mainly US and Canadian a great number or amount; a lot
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Word Origin for slew

C20: from Irish Gaelic sluagh; related to Old Irish slōg army

slue

1
noun, verb
  1. a variant spelling (esp US) of slew 2
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slue

2
noun
  1. a variant spelling of slough 1 (def. 2)
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slue

3
noun
  1. US informal a variant spelling of slew 4
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slay

verb slays, slaying, slew or slain (tr)
  1. archaic, or literary to kill, esp violently
  2. slang to impress (someone) sexually
  3. obsolete to strike
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Derived Formsslayer, noun

Word Origin for slay

Old English slēan; related to Old Norse slā, Gothic, Old High German slahan to strike, Old Irish slacaim I beat
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 slew

n.1

"swampy place," 1708, North American variant of slough.

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v.

"to turn, swing, twist," 1834, earlier slue (1769), a nautical word, of unknown origin. Slewed (1801) is old nautical slang for "drunk." Slew-foot "clumsy person who walks with feet turned out" is from 1896.

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n.2

"large number," 1839, from Irish sluagh "a host, crowd, multitude," from Celtic and Balto-Slavic *sloug- "help, service" (see slogan).

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slay

v.

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."

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slay

n.

"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."

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper