Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun One who is owned as the property of someone else, especially in involuntary servitude.
  • noun One who is subservient to or controlled by another.
  • noun One who is subject to or controlled by a specified influence.
  • noun One who works extremely hard.
  • noun One who acts out the role of the submissive partner in a sadomasochistic relationship.
  • noun A slave ant.
  • noun A machine or component controlled by another machine or component.
  • intransitive verb To work very hard or doggedly; toil.
  • intransitive verb To trade in or transport slaves.
  • intransitive verb To cause a machine or component to be controlled by another machine or component.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • intransitive verb To drudge; to toil; to labor as a slave.
  • transitive verb To enslave.
  • noun 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.
  • noun One who has lost the power of resistance; one who surrenders himself to any power whatever.
  • noun A drudge; one who labors like a slave.
  • noun An abject person; a wretch.
  • noun (Zoöl.) any species of ants which is captured and enslaved by another species, especially Formica fusca of Europe and America, which is commonly enslaved by Formica sanguinea.
  • noun one who attempted to catch and bring back a fugitive slave to his master.
  • noun part of the western coast of Africa to which slaves were brought to be sold to foreigners.
  • noun one who superintends slaves at their work; hence, figuratively, a cruel taskmaster.
  • noun A search after fugitive slaves, often conducted with bloodhounds.
  • noun a vessel employed in the slave trade or used for transporting slaves; a slaver.
  • noun the business of dealing in slaves, especially of buying them for transportation from their homes to be sold elsewhere.
  • noun one who traffics in slaves.
  • noun See Slav.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun A person who is the property of another person and whose labor and also whose life often is subject to the owner's volition.
  • noun 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.
  • noun 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.
  • noun engineering A device that is controlled by another device.
  • verb intransitive To work hard.
  • verb transitive To enslave.

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

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

Etymologies

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

[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.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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. Compare Byzantine Greek σκλάβος.

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, Omnibus

  • "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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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, 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, Part 3 of 4

  • 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

Comments

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

    January 2, 2008

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

    January 30, 2009