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slum

[sluhm] /slʌm/
noun
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, slumming.
3.
to visit slums, especially from curiosity.
4.
to visit or frequent a place, group, or amusement spot considered to be low in social status.
Origin
1805-1815
1805-15; compare earlier argot slum room; origin obscure
Related forms
slummer, noun
deslum, verb (used with object), deslummed, deslumming.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for slum
  • Another was to lower the rents of some slum properties owned by the university.
  • But even a city slum has benefits that you won't find on the farm or in the village.
  • The incursion did little to disrupt life in the slum.
  • Therefore, large, heterogeneous cities with slum cultures never developed.
  • So he issued an order that all cats were to be killed in his patch of the slum.
  • The grave in the slum is believed to contain up to eighty bodies.
  • After daybreak, the rumor of a tap with running water sent her stumbling in a panic through the slum's narrow corridors.
  • slum communities are growing rapidly, taking over unsuitable areas such as nearby lagoons and lakes.
  • On the other, a stone's throw down a cliff, is a small slum-a monument to desperation and government failure.
  • Police placed netting over a stream running through the slum to stop the bodies being washed away.
British Dictionary definitions for slum

slum

/slʌm/
noun
1.
a squalid overcrowded house, etc
2.
(often pl) a squalid section of a city, characterized by inferior living conditions and usually by overcrowding
3.
(modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of slums: slum conditions
verb (intransitive) slums, slumming, slummed
4.
to visit slums, esp for curiosity
5.
Also slum it. to suffer conditions below those to which one is accustomed
Derived Forms
slummer, noun
slummy, adjective
Word Origin
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
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Word Origin and History for slum
n.

1845, from back slum "dirty back alley of a city, street of poor or low people" (1825), originally a slang or cant word meaning "room," especially "back room" (1812), of unknown origin, pastime popularized by East End novels. Related: slums. Slumscape is from 1947.

v.

"visit slums of a city," especially for diversion or amusement, often under guise of philanthropy, 1884, from slum (n.). Pastime popularized by East End novels. Earlier it meant to visit slums for disreputable purposes or in search of vice (1860). Related: Slumming.

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

slum 1

v,v phr

To visit places or consort with persons below one's place or dignity; mix with one's inferiors: So we went slumming over in Philadelphia

[1884+; fr slum, ''wretched poor area,'' origin unknown]


slum 2

noun

Any inferior and esp unidentifiable food or drink; a nasty nameless stew;slop

[1847+;origin unknown; perhaps a vaguely echoic denigrating coinage related to slum1]


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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