a person who is the property of and wholly subject to another; a bond servant.
a person entirely under the domination of some influence or person: a slave to a drug.
a drudge: a housekeeping slave.
Photography. a subsidiary flash lamp actuated through its photoelectric cell when the principal flash lamp is discharged.
Machinery. a mechanism under control of and repeating the actions of a similar mechanism. Compare master ( def 19 ).
verb (used without object), slaved, slaving.
to work like a slave; drudge.
to engage in the slave trade; procure, transport, or sell slaves.
verb (used with object), slaved, slaving.
to connect (a machine) to a master as its slave.
Archaic. to enslave.

1250–1300; Middle English sclave < Medieval Latin sclāvus (masculine), sclāva (feminine) slave, special use of Sclāvus Slavic, so called because Slavs were commonly enslaved in the early Middle Ages; see Slav

slaveless, adjective
slavelike, adjective
proslave, adjective
semislave, noun

7. toil, labor, slog, grind. Unabridged


noun, plural Slaves (especially collectively) Slave.
a member of a group of Athabaskan-speaking North American Indians living in the upper Mackenzie River valley region of the Northwest Territories and in parts of British Columbia, Alberta, and the Yukon Territory.
Also, Slavey. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
slave (sleɪv)
1.  a person legally owned by another and having no freedom of action or right to property
2.  a person who is forced to work for another against his will
3.  a person under the domination of another person or some habit or influence: a slave to television
4.  a person who works in harsh conditions for low pay
5.  a.  a device that is controlled by or that duplicates the action of another similar device (the master device)
 b.  (as modifier): slave cylinder
vb (often foll by away)
6.  to work like a slave
7.  (tr) an archaic word for enslave
[C13: via Old French from Medieval Latin Sclāvus a Slav, one held in bondage (from the fact that the Slavonic races were frequently conquered in the Middle Ages), from Late Greek Sklabos a Slav]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

c.1290, "person who is the property of another," from O.Fr. esclave, from M.L. Sclavus "slave" (cf. It. schiavo, Fr. esclave, Sp. esclavo), originally "Slav" (see Slav), so called because of the many Slavs sold into slavery by conquering peoples.
"This sense development arose in the consequence of the wars waged by Otto the Great and his successors against the Slavs, a great number of whom they took captive and sold into slavery." [Klein]
O.E. Wealh "Briton" also began to be used in the sense of "serf, slave" c.850; and Skt. dasa-, which can mean "slave," is apparently connected to dasyu- "pre-Aryan inhabitant of India." More common O.E. words for slave were þeow (related to þeowian "to serve") and þræl (see thrall). The Slavic words for "slave" (Rus. rab, Serbo-Croatian rob, O.C.S. rabu) are from O.Slav. *orbu, from the PIE base *orbh- (also source of orphan) the ground sense of which seems to be "thing that changes allegiance" (in the case of the slave, from himself to his master). The Slavic word is also the source of robot. Applied to devices from 1904, especially those which are controlled by others (cf. slave jib in sailing, similarly of locomotives, flash bulbs, amplifiers). Slavery is from 1551; slavish is attested from 1565; in the sense of "servilely imitative" it is from 1753. slave-driver is attested from 1807. In U.S. history, slavocracy "the political dominance of slave-owners" is attested from 1840.

Indian tribe of northwestern Canada, 1789, from slave, translating Cree (Algonquian) awahkan "captive, slave."

c.1600, "to enslave," from slave (n.). The meaning "work like a slave" is first recorded 1719.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Bible Dictionary

Slave definition

Jer. 2:14 (A.V.), but not there found in the original. In Rev. 18:13 the word "slaves" is the rendering of a Greek word meaning "bodies." The Hebrew and Greek words for slave are usually rendered simply "servant," "bondman," or "bondservant." Slavery as it existed under the Mosaic law has no modern parallel. That law did not originate but only regulated the already existing custom of slavery (Ex. 21:20, 21, 26, 27; Lev. 25:44-46; Josh. 9:6-27). The gospel in its spirit and genius is hostile to slavery in every form, which under its influence is gradually disappearing from among men.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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Encyclopedia Britannica


group of Athabascan-speaking Indians of Canada, originally inhabiting the western shores of the Great Slave Lake, the basins of the Mackenzie and Liard rivers, and other neighbouring riverine and forest areas. Their name, Awokanak, or Slave, was given them by the Cree, who plundered and often enslaved numbers of them, and this name became the familiar one used by the French and English, for the Slave had a general reputation for timidity or pacifism, whether deserved or not.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences for slave
He freed her from eternal limbo and she thus became his slave.
When she makes her debut at the met, she must do it as a lady, not a slave.
This will have rested on an older, less categorical sense of what it meant to be a slave.
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