Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One bound in servitude as the property of a person or household.
  • n. One who is abjectly subservient to a specified person or influence: "I was still the slave of education and prejudice” ( Edward Gibbon).
  • n. One who works extremely hard.
  • n. A machine or component controlled by another machine or component.
  • intransitive v. To work very hard or doggedly; toil.
  • intransitive v. To trade in or transport slaves.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A person who is the property of another person and whose labor and also whose life often is subject to the owner's volition.
  • n. A person who is legally obliged by prior contract (oral or written) to work for another, with contractually limited rights to bargain; an indentured servant.
  • n. A person who is forced against his/her will to perform, for another person or other persons, sexual acts or other personal services on a regular or continuing basis.
  • n. A device that is controlled by another device.
  • v. To work hard.
  • v. To enslave.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. See Slav.
  • n. A person who is held in bondage to another; one who is wholly subject to the will of another; one who is held as a chattel; one who has no freedom of action, but whose person and services are wholly under the control of another.
  • n. One who has lost the power of resistance; one who surrenders himself to any power whatever.
  • n. A drudge; one who labors like a slave.
  • n. An abject person; a wretch.
  • intransitive v. To drudge; to toil; to labor as a slave.
  • transitive v. To enslave.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • See Slav.
  • n. A person who is the chattel or property of another and is wholly subject to his will; a bond-servant; a serf. See slavery.
  • n. One who has lost the power of resistance and is entirely under the influence or domination of some habit or vice: as, a slave to ambition; a slave of drink.
  • n. One who labors like a slave; a drudge: as, a slave to the desk.
  • n. An abject wretch; a mean, servile person.
  • n. In entomology, an insect held captive by or made to work for another, as in some colonies of ants. See slave-making.
  • n. Synonyms Serf, Slave (see serf), bondman, thrall. See servitude.
  • Performed by slaves: as, slave labor.
  • Containing or holding slaves: as, a slave State.
  • To work like a slave; toil; drudge: as, to slave night and day for a miserable living.
  • To enslave.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person who is owned by someone
  • v. work very hard, like a slave
  • n. someone entirely dominated by some influence or person
  • n. someone who works as hard as a slave

Etymologies

Middle English sclave, from Old French esclave, from Medieval Latin sclāvus, from Sclāvus, Slav (from the widespread enslavement of captured Slavs in the early Middle Ages); see Slav.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English, from Old French sclave, from Medieval Latin sclāvus ("slave"), from Sclāvus ("Slav"), because Slavs were often forced into slavery in the Middle Ages.[3][4][5][1] Compare Byzantine Greek σκλάβος. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Neither a slave nor a free colored person can be a witness against any _white_, or free person, in a court of justice, however atrocious may have been the crimes they have seen him commit, if such testimony would be for the benefit of a _slave_; but they may give testimony

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • "He (the slave) only knows his master as lawgiver and executioner, and the _sole object of punishment_ held up to his view, is to make him _a more obedient and profitable slave_."

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • It was said that national crimes can only be, and frequently are, punished in this world by _national punishments_, and that the continuance of the slave trade, and thus giving it a national character, sanction, and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of him who is equally the Lord of all, and who views with equal eye the poor _African slave_ and his _American master!

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • As he resolves, and breaks his resolutions; as he finds evil thoughts and feelings continually coming up from the deep places of his heart; he discovers his spiritual impotence, -- his lack of control over what is deepest, most intimate, and most fundamental in his own character, -- and cries out: "I _am_ a slave, I am a _slave_ to myself."

    Sermons to the Natural Man

  • And all this is necessary; it is necessary to resort to these cruelties, in order to _make the slave a slave_, and to _keep him a slave_.

    My Bondage and My Freedom

  • Why, my experience all goes to prove the truth of what you will call a marvelous proposition, that the better you treat a slave, the more you destroy his value _as a slave_, and enhance the probability of his eluding the grasp of the slaveholder; the more kindly you treat him, the more wretched you make him, while you keep him in the condition of

    My Bondage and My Freedom

  • The Colonization Society are always reminding us that the _master_ has rights as well as the slave: The Anti-Slavery Society urge us to remember that the _slave_ has rights as well as the master.

    An Appeal in Favor of that Class of Americans Called Africans

  • FREE you are, let one of you start and go thro 'the southern and western States of this country, and unless you travel as a slave to a white man (a servant is a _slave_ to the man whom he serves,) or have your free papers (which if you are not careful they will get from you) if they do not take you up and put you in jail, and if you cannot give evidence of your freedom, sell you into eternal slavery, I am not

    Walker's Appeal, with a Brief Sketch of His Life And Also Garnet's Address to the Slaves of the United States of America

  • It was said that national crimes can only be, and frequently are, punished in this world by _national punishments_, and that the continuance of the slave trade, and thus giving it a national character, sanction, and encouragement, ought to be considered as justly exposing us to the displeasure and vengeance of him who is equally the Lord of all, and who views with equal eye the poor _African slave_ and his _American master_! [

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 4 of 4

  • "_He_ (the slave) _should be practically treated as a slave_; and thoroughly taught the true cardinal principle on which our peculiar institutions are founded, viz.; that to his owner he is bound by the law of God and man; and that no human authority can sever the link which unites them.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

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  • Some historical advertisements can be found on the sold page.

    January 30, 2009

  • This is actually derived from the ethnonym "Sclavus" - a Slav (in Old Slavic, *slověninъ).

    January 2, 2008