Dictionary.com Unabridged

slew

2 [sloo]
noun Informal.
a large number or quantity: a whole slew of people.
Also, slue.


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

slew

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

slew

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

slay

[sley]
verb (used with object), slew, slain, slaying.
1.
to kill by violence.
2.
to destroy; extinguish.
3.
4.
Informal. to impress strongly; overwhelm, especially by humor: Your jokes slay me.
5.
Obsolete. to strike.
verb (used without object), slew, slain, slaying.
6.
to kill or murder.
noun
7.

Origin:
before 900; Middle English sleen, slayn, Old English slēan; cognate with Dutch slaan, German schlagen, Old Norse slā, Gothic slahan to strike, beat

slayable, adjective
slayer, noun
unslayable, adjective


1. murder, slaughter, massacre, butcher, assassinate. 2. annihilate, ruin.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
slay (sleɪ)
 
vb , slays, slaying, slew, slain
1.  archaic, literary or to kill, esp violently
2.  slang to impress (someone) sexually
3.  obsolete to strike
 
[Old English slēan; related to Old Norse slā, Gothic, Old High German slahan to strike, Old Irish slacaim I beat]
 
'slayer
 
n

slew1 (sluː)
 
vb
the past tense of slay

slew or esp (US) slue2 (sluː)
 
vb
1.  to twist or be twisted sideways, esp awkwardly: he 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
 
n
3.  the act of slewing
 
[C18: of unknown origin]
 
slue or esp (US) slue2
 
vb
 
n
 
[C18: of unknown origin]

slew3 (sluː)
 
n
a variant spelling (esp US) of slough

slew or slue4 (sluː)
 
n
informal chiefly (US), (Canadian) a great number or amount; a lot
 
[C20: from Irish Gaelic sluagh; related to Old Irish slōg army]
 
slue or slue4
 
n
 
[C20: from Irish Gaelic sluagh; related to Old Irish slōg army]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

slay
O.E. slean "to smite," also "to kill with a weapon" (class VI strong verb; past tense sloh, slog, pp. slagen), from P.Gmc. *slakhanan, from base *slog- "to hit" (cf. O.N., O.Fris. sla, Dan. slaa, M.Du. slaen, Du. slaan, O.H.G. slahan, Ger. schlagen, Goth. slahan "to strike"), from PIE base from base
*slak- "to strike" (cf. M.Ir. pp. slactha "struck," slacc "sword"). Modern Ger. cognate schlagen maintains the original sense of "to strike." Meaning "overwhelm with delight" (1340) preserves some of the wider rangeof meanings that the word once had, including also "to strike a spark" (O.E.).

slew
"swampy place," 1708, N.Amer. variant of slough.

slew
"to turn, swing, twist," 1834, earlier slue (1769), a nautical word, of unknown origin. Slewed (1801) is old nautical slang for "drunk."

slew
"large number," 1839, from Ir. sluagh "a host, crowd, multitude."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang Dictionary

slay definition


  1. tv.
    to overwhelm someone with one's performance or other excellence. : These jokes always slay the audience.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source

slew definition


  1. in.
    to drink to intoxication. : They must have been slewing for an hour before one got up and left.
  2. n.
    and slews. a lot; lots. : I have a whole slew of old computer programs at home in a box somewhere.
Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions by Richard A. Spears.Fourth Edition.
Copyright 2007. Published by McGraw-Hill Education.
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Politics could play an important role in the success of the proposed slew of
  exchange deals.
Made up of long hydrocarbon chains, it can be broken down into a slew of useful
  substances and products.
The essay became a touchstone in the heyday of literary theory, reprinted in a
  slew of anthologies and cited copiously.
He pledged to restrain government spending, yet proposed a slew of new
  government programmes.
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