Share this entry

Share this page

slavery

Syllabification: slav·er·y
Pronunciation: /ˈslāv(ə)rē
 
/

Definition of slavery in English:

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.
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 compared to that of a slave in respect of exhausting labor or restricted freedom: 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 labor, grind
literary travail
archaic 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.

Words that rhyme with slavery

Avery, bravery, knavery, quavery, Savery, savory, savoury, wavery

Definition of slavery in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtenəbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure