Pronunciation Noun

slave (plural slaves)

  1. A person who is held in servitude as the property of another person, and whose labor (and often also whose body and life) is subject to the owner's volition and control.
  2. (figuratively) A drudge; one who labors or is obliged (e.g. by prior contract) to labor like a slave with limited rights, e.g. an indentured servant.
  3. (figuratively) An abject person; a wretch.
    • Shakespeare, Much Ado About Nothing:
      Art thou the slave that with thy breath hast kill'd/ Mine innocent child?
  4. (figuratively) One who has no the power of resistance (to something), one who surrenders to or is under the domination (of something_.
    a slave to passion, to strong drink, or to ambition
  5. (BDSM) A submissive partner in a BDSM relationship who (consensually) submits to (sexually and/or personally) serving one or more masters or mistresses.
    Hypernyms: sub
  6. A sex slave, a person who is forced against their will to perform, for another person or group, sexual acts on a regular or continuing basis.
  7. (engineering, computing, photography) A device (such as a secondary flash or hard drive) that is subject to the control of another (a master).
Translations Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • German: Slave, Folgegerät
  • Portuguese: escravo
  • Russian: ведо́мый

slave (slaves, present participle slaving; past and past participle slaved)

  1. To work as a slaver, to enslave people.
    • 1908, James Wells, Stewart of Lovedale: The Life of James Stewart, D.D., M.D., Hon. F.R.G.S., page 88:
      The truth is from the Zambesi to Lake Nyasa on the north and east banks of the river, there is nothing but slaving — Africans selling each other . . .
    • 2011, David Eltis, Keith Bradley, Paul Cartledge, The Cambridge World History of Slavery: Volume 3, AD 1420-AD 1804, Cambridge University Press (ISBN 9780521840682), page 128:
      Despite these examples, the majority of enslaved Africans were not able to rely on rulers for help against slaving. Africans living in chiefdoms and villages ruled by allied African authorities were, however, able to use the legal system (Tribunal of Mukanos) in place in the regions under formal Portuguese control […]
    • 2016, Thomas Arcaro, et al. Understanding the Global Experience: Becoming a Responsible World Citizen, Routledge (ISBN 9781315523118):
      With ready access to firearms through trade, the slaving Africans held a distinct upper-hand over the groups they preyed upon, which were often politically and socially weakened or destroyed by the trade.
    • 2016, Alistair Paterson, A Millennium of Cultural Contact, Routledge (ISBN 9781315435725), page 117:
      Significant impacts resulted from slaving; there is evidence of how communities dealt with the threat and benefits of slaving. Africans provided most of the slaves to European slavers. Most slaves were created either to settle debts or raise funds, through warfare, or as punishment for a real or perceived crime.
  2. (intransitive) To work hard.
    I was slaving all day over a hot stove.
  3. (transitive) To place a device under the control of another.
    to slave a hard disk
    • 2005, Simon Millward, Fast Guide to Cubase SX (page 403)
      Slaving one digital audio device to another unit using timecode alone results in time-based synchronisation […]
Proper noun
  1. Alternative form of Slavey

slave (plural slaves)

  1. Obsolete form of Slav#English|Slav.
    • 1766, An Universal History, from the Earliest Account of Time, volume XLIV, index:
      Slaves or Slavì of Pomerania, with their confederates defeated near Lunden in Scania, […]
    • 1850 December, Russian Ambition, in The American Whig Review, page 622:
      Moldavia and Wallachia, inhabited by Slaves nominally belonging to the Turkish empire, are in the actual military occupation of Russia. Servia, inhabited by the Slavic Serbs, is avowedly disloyal to the Porte, […]
    • 1853, Maximilian Schele De Vere, Outlines of Comparative Philology, page 350:
      It extended then far into Hungary, and the ancient limits of the land of these so-called Pannonic Slaves are the same which at present mark the extent of the language. […] A considerable number of Slaves in the Russian province of Silesia are said to speak the same languages slightly modified.

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