[ sluhm ]
/ slʌm /


Often slums. a thickly populated, run-down, squalid part of a city, inhabited by poor people.
any squalid, run-down place to live.

verb (used without object), slummed, slum·ming.

to visit slums, especially from curiosity.
to visit or frequent a place, group, or amusement spot considered to be low in social status.

Nearby words

  1. sluggishly,
  2. sluice,
  3. sluicegate,
  4. sluiceway,
  5. sluit,
  6. slumber,
  7. slumber party,
  8. slumberland,
  9. slumberous,
  10. slumberously

Origin of slum

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

Related formsslum·mer, nounde·slum, verb (used with object), de·slummed, de·slum·ming. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for slum

British Dictionary definitions for slum


/ (slʌm) /


a squalid overcrowded house, etc
(often plural) a squalid section of a city, characterized by inferior living conditions and usually by overcrowding
(modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of slumsslum conditions

verb slums, slumming or slummed (intr)

to visit slums, esp for curiosity
Also: slum it to suffer conditions below those to which one is accustomed
Derived Formsslummer, nounslummy, adjective

Word Origin for slum

C19: originally slang, of obscure origin

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 slum
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper