Definitions

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

  • n. Informal A large amount or number; a lot: a slew of unpaid bills.
  • v. Past tense of slay.
  • n. Variant of slough1.
  • v. Variant of slue1.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A large amount.
  • n. The act, or process of slaying.
  • n. A device used for slaying.
  • n. A change of position.
  • v. To rotate or turn something about its axis.
  • v. To veer a vehicle.
  • v. To insert extra ticks or skip some ticks of a clock to slowly correct its time.
  • v. To pivot.
  • v. To skid.
  • v. to move something (usually a railway line) sideways
  • v. To make a public mockery of someone through insult or wit.
  • v. Simple past of slay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • imp. of slay.
  • n. A wet place; a river inlet.
  • transitive v. See slue.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Preterit of slay.
  • n. A spelling of slue, slue, slough.
  • n. A swift tideway; an eddy.

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

  • v. turn sharply; change direction abruptly
  • v. move obliquely or sideways, usually in an uncontrolled manner
  • n. (often followed by `of') a large number or amount or extent

Etymologies

Irish Gaelic sluagh, multitude, from Old Irish slúag.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Irish slua ("crowd") (noun only) (Wiktionary)
In all senses, a mostly British spelling of slue. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • But that slew is a whole other stew, and quite another story as well …

    An Encounter | Miette's Bedtime Story Podcast

  • Near faint at the thought, a certain slew of words had the effect of smelling salts and I perked right up.

    French Word-A-Day:

  • While last year's top pitching prospects are at various stages of rehab from injuries, a new slew is making its presence felt.

    USATODAY.com

  • I called a slew of people, no one around, or no one doing anything, people hanging out, being mellow, waiting for the next night.

    1st half of a long weekend!!!

  • It was so controversial among his party that Tom DeLay had to break a slew of ethics rules and hold a 15-minute vote open for more than three hours to pass the legislation.

    Do Republican presidents really refuse compromise?

  • In fact, when news broke late Friday night, Reid started calling a slew of African-American leaders.

    CNN Transcript Jan 11, 2010

  • If we suffer ill for doing well, we must not think it strange; from the beginning it was so (Cain slew

    Commentary on the Whole Bible Volume III (Job to Song of Solomon)

  • They completed a section of a slew, which is just south of Highway 132 near the San Joaquin River Bridge.

    CNN Transcript Dec 30, 2002

  • After remarking the candles and lamps, and perfumes and ointments, he approached the slave, and with a blow of his sword slew him; he then carried him on his back, and threw him into a well which he found in the palace, and returning to the kubbeh, clad himself with the slave’s clothes, and lay down with the drawn sword by his side.

    Nights 3-9. The Story of the Young King of the Black Islands.

  • My father the deacon used to say, the penny siller slew mair souls than the naked sword slew bodies. ''

    Rob Roy

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Comments

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  • "v. To insert extra ticks or skip some ticks of a clock to slowly correct its time."
    --Wiktionary

    March 6, 2012

  • Citation on whaleman.

    September 9, 2008

  • A double contronym(!): meaning both to turn sharply *and* to move smoothly. Also, meaning both a reduction ("kill off") and a plentitude.

    August 29, 2008