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Etymology 1

From slave +‎ -ery.


  • IPA(key): /ˈsleɪvəɹi/
  • (file)


slavery (usually uncountable, plural slaveries)

  1. An institution or social practice of owning human beings as property, especially for use as forced laborers.
  2. A condition of servitude endured by a slave.
  3. (figuratively) A condition in which one is captivated or subjugated, as by greed or drugs.
    • 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley,"The Revolt of Islam", canto 8, stanza 16,
      Man seeks for gold in mines that he may weave / A lasting chain for his own slavery.
See also

Etymology 2

slaver +‎ -y


slavery (comparative more slavery, superlative most slavery)

  1. Covered in slaver; slobbery.
    • 2014, Lisa Williamson, Echoes of Elder Times Collection
      The giant snow bear, the wolf with slavery jaws or the claws of the silent great cats were all a part. Creatures of man's oldest nightmares were the other side of that face.


  • slavery in An American Dictionary of the English Language, by Noah Webster, 1828.
  • slavery in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
  • slavery” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary, 1987-1996.