[ sluhm ]
See synonyms for: slumslums on

  1. Often slums. a thickly populated, run-down, squalid part of a city, inhabited by poor people.

  2. any squalid, run-down place to live.

verb (used without object),slummed, slum·ming.
  1. to visit slums, especially from curiosity.

  2. to visit or frequent a place, group, or amusement spot considered to be low in social status.

Origin of slum

1805–15; compare earlier argot slum room; origin obscure

Other words from slum

  • slummer, noun
  • de·slum, verb (used with object), de·slummed, de·slum·ming.

Words Nearby slum Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use slum in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for slum


/ (slʌm) /

  1. a squalid overcrowded house, etc

  2. (often plural) a squalid section of a city, characterized by inferior living conditions and usually by overcrowding

  1. (modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of slums: slum conditions

verbslums, slumming or slummed (intr)
  1. to visit slums, esp for curiosity

  2. Also: slum it to suffer conditions below those to which one is accustomed

Origin of slum

C19: originally slang, of obscure origin

Derived forms of slum

  • slummer, noun
  • slummy, adjective

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