slave

slave (slāv)
n.
1. One who is owned as the property of someone else, especially in involuntary servitude.
2. One who is subservient to or controlled by another: »

his boss's slave.

3. One who is subject to or controlled by a specified influence: »

a slave to alcohol; a slave to an irrational fear.

4. One who works extremely hard.
5. One who acts out the role of the submissive partner in a sadomasochistic relationship.
6. A slave ant.
7. A machine or component controlled by another machine or component.
intr.v. slaved, slav·ing, slaves 1) To work very hard or doggedly; toil. 2) To trade in or transport slaves. 3) To cause a machine or component to be controlled by another machine or component.
[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(Cf. Slav).]
Word History: The derivation of the word slave encapsulates a bit of European history and explains why the two words slave and Slav are so similar; they are, in fact, historically identical. The word slave first appears in English around 1290, spelled sclave. The spelling is based on Old French esclave from Medieval Latin sclavus, "Slav, slave," first recorded around 800. Sclavus comes from Byzantine Greek sklabos (pronounced sklä’vōs) "Slav," which appears around 580. Sklavos approximates the Slavs' own name for themselves, the Slověnci, surviving in English Slovene and Slovenian. The spelling of English slave, closer to its original Slavic form, first appears in English in the 1500s. Slavs became slaves around the beginning of the ninth century when the Holy Roman Empire tried to stabilize a German-Slav frontier. By the 1100s, stabilization had given way to wars of expansion and extermination that did not end until 1410, when the Poles crushed the knights of the Teutonic Order at Grunwald in north-central Poland. · As far as the Slavs' own self-designation goes, its meaning is, understandably, better than "slave"; it comes from the Indo-European root *kleu-, whose basic meaning is "to hear" and occurs in many derivatives meaning "renown, fame." The Slavs are thus "the famous people." Slavic names ending in -slav incorporate the same word, such as Czech Bohu-slav, "God's fame," Russian Msti-slav, "vengeful fame," and Polish Stani-slaw, "famous for withstanding (enemies)."

Word Histories. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • slave — [ slav ] adj. et n. • 1575; sclave 1573; lat. médiév. sclavus; cf. esclave ♦ Se dit de peuples d Europe centrale et orientale dont les langues sont apparentées. Peuples slaves. Union slave. ⇒ panslavisme. Le charme slave, qu on prête… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Slave I — is a fictional spacecraft in the Star Wars universe. It first appears in the film under the command of bounty hunter Boba Fett (Jeremy Bulloch), and then in the prequel film commanded by Jango Fett (Temuera Morrison). Slave I also appears in… …   Wikipedia

  • Slave — (sl[=a]v), n. [Cf. F. esclave, D. slaaf, Dan. slave, sclave, Sw. slaf, all fr. G. sklave, MHG. also slave, from the national name of the Slavonians, or Sclavonians (in LL. Slavi or Sclavi), who were frequently made slaves by the Germans. See… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Slave — (engl. für „Sklave“), nicht zu verwechseln mit Slawe, steht für: Master/Slave, ein allgemeines hierarchisches Prinzip der Regelung und Steuerung Slave River, ein Fluss in Kanada Eine devote Person (auch „Sub“ genannt) im BDSM Ein fotografisches… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • slave — [slāv] n. [ME sclave < OFr or ML: OFr esclave < ML sclavus, slave, orig., Slav < LGr Sklabos, ult. < OSlav Slovēne, native name of a Slavic people: first used of captives of Slavic orig. in SE Europe] 1. a human being who is owned as… …   English World dictionary

  • Slave — Indian tribe of northwestern Canada, 1789, from SLAVE (Cf. slave) (n.), translating Cree (Algonquian) awahkan captive, slave …   Etymology dictionary

  • Slave — Slave, v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Slaved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Slaving}.] To drudge; to toil; to labor as a slave. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • slave — (izg. slȇjv) m DEFINICIJA inform. naziv za podređeni, podčinjeni ili sporedni uređaj [primarni slave; sekundarni slave], opr. master (4) ETIMOLOGIJA engl …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • Slave — (sl[aum]v or sl[a^]v; 277) n. See {Slav}. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Slave — Slave, v. t. To enslave. Marston. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.