American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- n. A heavily populated urban area characterized by substandard housing and squalor. Often used in the plural.
- v. To visit impoverished areas or squalid locales, especially out of curiosity or for amusement.
- idiom. slum it To endure conditions or accommodations that are worse than what one is accustomed to.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In metallurgy, same as slime, 3: chiefly in the plural.
- n. A dirty back street of a city, especially such a street inhabited by a squalid and criminal population; a low and dangerous neighborhood: chiefly in the plural: as, the slums of Whitechapel and Westminster in London.
- To keep to back streets.
- To visit the slums of a city, often from mere curiosity or as a diversion.
- n. A dilapidated neighborhood where many people live in a state of poverty.
- v. To visit a neighborhood of a status below one's own.
- v. To associate with people or engage in activities with a status below one's own.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. A foul back street of a city, especially one filled with a poor, dirty, degraded, and often vicious population; any low neighborhood or dark retreat; -- usually in the plural.
- n. (Mining) Same as Slimes.
- v. colloq. To visit or frequent slums, esp. out of curiosity, or for purposes of study, etc. Also called
- v. spend time at a lower socio-economic level than one's own, motivated by curiosity or desire for adventure; usage considered condescending and insensitive
- n. a district of a city marked by poverty and inferior living conditions
- This definition is lacking an etymology or has an incomplete etymology. You can help Wiktionary by giving it a proper etymology. (Wiktionary)
- Origin unknown. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“In 2005, the Mugabe government launched what it called a slum clearance scheme, that bulldozed major shantytowns, brutally displacing hundreds of thousands of people.”
“In 2005, the Mugabe government launched what it called a slum clearance scheme that bulldozed major shanty towns, brutally displacing hundreds of thousands of people.”
“On the other hand, a good portion of the population seems to live in slum-like conditions and will for the foreseeable future.”
“The big expensive house where the rich live, surrounded by walls, with people living in slum-like conditions outside those walls.”
“Prince Charles: Dharavi slum is a model for sustainable living”
“Built for 500,000 people originally, Brasilia soon outgrew its urban plan, housing residents in slum-like satellite cities.”
“The slum is a direct by-product of the capitalist system of production.”
“The slum is their jungle, and they live and prey in the jungle.”
“And the man of the London slum is a very natural beast who expresses him self in a very natural manner.”
“In all the great cities, where they are segregated in slum ghettos by hundreds of thousands and by millions, their misery becomes beastliness.”
These user-created lists contain the word ‘slum’.
describing living arrangements from the less-than-stellar, to the sordid
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describing areas where the poor, unhomed and oppressed are found. Some of these didn't belong in miserable circumstances.
Hoodlum has a mysterious 1871 San Francisco origin. Maybe it's neighborhood + diminutive -lum as in molecule, funicular, humunculus, etc. But no! The OED only records 'hood as a shortening of neigh...
Compare the etymologies of these words as given in the OED with the Gaelic backgrounders in this book, How the Irish Invented Slang: The Secret Language of the Crossroads (Counterpunch, 2007). Awai...
many frequently used by moms; words that sound dirtier than they are
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