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.

Definition of slavery in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day guzzle
Pronunciation: ˈgʌz(ə)l
verb
eat or drink (something) greedily