Definition of slavery in English:

slavery

Line breaks: slav¦ery
Pronunciation: /ˈsleɪv(ə)ri
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • 1The state of being a slave: thousands had been sold into slavery
    More example sentences
    • The stronger ones would be sold into slavery or servitude.
    • Few women suspect they will be sold into sexual slavery.
    • But fears are growing that orphaned children are being trafficked by unscrupulous criminals and sold into slavery and prostitution.
  • 1.1The practice or system of owning slaves: he was resolved to impose a number of reforms, including the abolition of slavery
    More example sentences
    • The English developed a sugar plantation system that thrived until the abolition of slavery, when the system collapsed.
    • It comes as a surprise to missionaries arriving fresh from the west of Ireland to hear that slavery has been practiced in Brazil right up to the present time.
    • This is a nation that practiced slavery, genocide of the native peoples, Jim Crow apartheid and war mongering.
  • 1.2A condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation: female domestic slavery
    More example sentences
    • Women have been abducted by armed men, detained for a time in conditions of sexual slavery, raped and made to perform domestic chores.
    • Thousands of North Korean men, women and children are forced to work and often perish under conditions of slavery.
    • Experts say police corruption - in Italy and in the native countries of these women - makes it harder to battle sex slavery.
    Synonyms
    drudgery, toil, (hard) slog, hard labour, grind, sweated labour
    Australian/New Zealand informal (hard) yakka
    archaic travail, moil
  • 1.3Excessive dependence on or devotion to something: slavery to tradition
    More example sentences
    • I grew up under the heavy yoke of religion and its mental slavery to fear, and the economic domination of the church in the name of God.
    • No enslavement and no tyranny are as ruthless and as demanding as slavery to physical desires and passions.
    • Their ever-shorter skirts and tight blouses might look rebellious, but their pack mentality guarantees their slavery to fashion.

More definitions of slavery

Definition of slavery in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: mɪˈlɔːd
noun
used to address an English nobleman