Definition of slavery in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈsleɪv(ə)ri/


[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.
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.

Words that rhyme with slavery

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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: slav¦ery

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