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slew1

[sloo] /slu/
verb
1.
simple past tense of slay.

slew2

[sloo] /slu/
noun, Informal.
1.
a large number or quantity:
a whole slew of people.
Also, slue.
Origin
1830-1840
1830-40, Americanism; < Irish sluagh crowd, throng, army, host

slew3

[sloo] /slu/
verb (used with object), verb (used without object), noun
1.
slue1 .

slew4

[sloo] /slu/
noun, U.S., Canadian.
1.
slough1 (def 3).

slay

[sley] /sleɪ/
verb (used with object), slew, slain, slaying.
1.
to kill by violence.
2.
to destroy; extinguish.
3.
sley.
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.
sley.
Origin
before 900; Middle English sleen, slayn, Old English slēan; cognate with Dutch slaan, German schlagen, Old Norse slā, Gothic slahan to strike, beat
Related forms
slayable, adjective
slayer, noun
unslayable, adjective
Synonyms
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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Examples from the web for slew
  • 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.
  • But there are a slew of lesser-known fathers in the animal kingdom with intensive parenting skills of their own.
  • There have been a whole slew of articles about the merits of eating bugs lately.
  • There's been a slew of fascinating weapons granted patents this week.
  • And in the past few days, a new slew of spending initiatives has been unveiled.
  • Continue past a slew of independent art galleries and witness the slow gentrification of a once ramshackle neighborhood.
  • Specimens flicker by in an entrancing crescendo until the video becomes a frenzied slew of images.
British Dictionary definitions for slew

slew1

/sluː/
verb
1.
the past tense of slay

slew2

/sluː/
verb
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
noun
3.
the act of slewing
Word Origin
C18: of unknown origin

slew3

/sluː/
noun
1.
a variant spelling (esp US) of slough1 (sense 2)

slew4

/sluː/
noun
1.
(informal, mainly US & Canadian) a great number or amount; a lot
Word Origin
C20: from Irish Gaelic sluagh; related to Old Irish slōg army

slay

/sleɪ/
verb (transitive) slays, slaying, slew, slain
1.
(archaic or literary) to kill, esp violently
2.
(slang) to impress (someone) sexually
3.
(obsolete) to strike
Derived Forms
slayer, noun
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for slew
n.

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

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

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.

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."

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."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for slew

slew

noun

A large quantity; oodles, slathers: a slew of cops

[1839+; probably fr Irish sluagh, ''host, multitude'']


slay

verb

To impress someone powerfully, esp to provoke violent and often derisive laughter: Pardon me, this will slay you/ The boys who slay me are the ones who have set pieces to recite when they answer the phone (1593+)


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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