Definition of slavery in English:



mass noun
  • 1The state of being a slave.

    ‘thousands had been sold into slavery’
    • ‘They insisted that since they had lived on free soil, their bonds of slavery were no longer valid.’
    • ‘The stronger ones would be sold into slavery or servitude.’
    • ‘A thriving trade in child abductions is rife throughout the country which sees many young children sold into slavery or the sex trade.’
    • ‘Nothing was heard of it again and it is thought that those who survived the voyage were sold into slavery in north Africa.’
    • ‘In third-world countries, unwanted babies are often abandoned or sold into slavery.’
    • ‘Few women suspect they will be sold into sexual slavery.’
    • ‘A police spokesman in the capital Abuja said authorities were looking into whether there were plans to sell some into slavery.’
    • ‘Moreover, there have been UN reports of children being sold into slavery and prostitution.’
    • ‘When she escaped the first time, Nataly was taken in by a Moldovan woman who then sold her back into slavery.’
    • ‘Set against the American Civil War, this city was the scene of another kind of slavery and subjugation.’
    • ‘But fears are growing that orphaned children are being trafficked by unscrupulous criminals and sold into slavery and prostitution.’
    • ‘In Sweden, factors like famine and civil war have driven the Dinha tribes from their land in the South leading to many being sold into slavery.’
    • ‘She might as well have been going to a Calcutta slum or sold into slavery.’
    • ‘It was at that age that he was sold into slavery by a group of Irish marauders that raided his village.’
    • ‘And in China more than 15,000 women will be sold into sexual slavery each year.’
    • ‘What happened to the Scots sold into slavery in Barbados?’
    • ‘You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery.’
    • ‘Young women being sold into sex slavery is not unheard of in Aruba.’
    • ‘When Nicholas heard that the father was sick with grief that he might have to sell his daughters into slavery, he knew he must help.’
    • ‘Had Joseph not been kidnapped and sold into slavery, he would not have been in a position to help his family in their time of need.’
    bondage, enslavement, servitude, subjugation, thraldom, thrall, serfdom, vassalage, enthralment, yoke
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The practice or system of owning slaves.
      ‘he was resolved to impose a number of reforms, including the abolition of slavery’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is quite understandable that a religion practiced under slavery would emphasize evil spirits.’
      • ‘This is a nation that practiced slavery, genocide of the native peoples, Jim Crow apartheid and war mongering.’
      • ‘In his thesis, he described in detail the places and tribal groups where slavery is still practiced.’
      • ‘He laughs and says he does not expect his slaves to be honest, as the system of slavery forces them to resort to cheating and dishonesty just to get by.’
      • ‘Despite global condemnation, the international community continues to be confronted with practices analogous to slavery.’
      • ‘Of all the cruel practices of slavery, Douglass considers the fate of his grandmother most unacceptable.’
      • ‘Ruffin reasoned that hirers and owners should hold the same power, else the entire system of slavery would crumble.’
      • ‘And the biggest difference between the two social systems was slavery.’
      • ‘It also says that the ‘practice of slavery constitutes a crime against humanity.’’
      • ‘The English developed a sugar plantation system that thrived until the abolition of slavery, when the system collapsed.’
      • ‘It is not hard to believe the very worst of any country where a system like slavery has existed for centuries.’
      • ‘Mauritania is one of the last places on earth where slavery is widely practiced.’
      • ‘Lincoln sold a war against slavery as a war for the Union.’
      • ‘When slavery was first practiced in the Americas during the early colonial period, it was purely for economic use.’
      • ‘But should current day white Americans pay reparations to descendants of blacks for slavery that was practiced more than a century ago?’
      • ‘I have also argued that these consequences of the wide acceptance of the race idea helped to perpetuate and to rationalize the practice of slavery.’
      • ‘Elsewhere in Africa, there are still societies that practice slavery.’
      • ‘Here is one man's story about the practice of slavery in the country.’
      • ‘This year the UN will organize exhibitions, concerts and studies meant to deepen knowledge about the banned practice of slavery.’
      bondage, enslavement, servitude, subjugation, thraldom, thrall, serfdom, vassalage, enthralment, yoke
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 A condition of having to work very hard without proper remuneration or appreciation.
      ‘female domestic slavery’
      • ‘Women have been abducted by armed men, detained for a time in conditions of sexual slavery, raped and made to perform domestic chores.’
      • ‘Eastern Europe's subordination is a feminized or festishized position: domestic slavery in the world order.’
      • ‘She is working hard towards cutting out any need for slavery in her life and asserts her right to work part-time without it being seen as a sign of marginalisation.’
      • ‘The nation thus becomes the new justification for domestic slavery.’
      • ‘Experts say police corruption - in Italy and in the native countries of these women - makes it harder to battle sex slavery.’
      • ‘Thirty two years later, the life of the Bahamian is still sadly crippled by the manacles of marginalisation and the chains of economic slavery.’
      • ‘Then I shrug and feel the chains of urban slavery slip from my shoulders in my sweat.’
      • ‘She was too intelligent and too well educated for domestic slavery.’
      • ‘Hardly any women worked but most spent 32 hours a week on unpaid domestic slavery.’
      • ‘In turn, these companies have taken advantage of dire drought conditions in parts of Brazil to entice workers into slavery.’
      • ‘Also, with the competitive slavery of the profit system gone, we could spend more on researching environmentally safe methods to boost production.’
      • ‘Thousands of North Korean men, women and children are forced to work and often perish under conditions of slavery.’
      • ‘They would be back in L.A. a whole month before Uni resumed, but, as Jessi had said, it would be good to get settled prior to the hard slavery of the final year.’
      • ‘More trade will not break the chains of debt slavery.’
      drudgery, toil, slog, hard slog, hard labour, grind, sweated labour
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3 Excessive dependence on or devotion to something.
      ‘slavery to tradition’
      • ‘Our symbol of freedom becomes an emblem of our slavery to an insane idea.’
      • ‘He is saying that we have been set free from slavery to the reign of sin.’
      • ‘We haven't just gone for a compromise, we've given in, capitulated and sold ourselves into slavery.’
      • ‘No enslavement and no tyranny are as ruthless and as demanding as slavery to physical desires and passions.’
      • ‘They look at us coquettishly, which makes their slavery to fashion all the more pathetic.’
      • ‘Their ever-shorter skirts and tight blouses might look rebellious, but their pack mentality guarantees their slavery to fashion.’
      • ‘Such arguments only show the mental slavery to which these people have succumbed.’
      • ‘Empower us to live in your great Spirit, standing firm against all that would imprison your people in slavery to worldly idols.’
      • ‘The modern day slavery of the capitalist system is exposed in a satirical and playful way.’
      • ‘And just as they were delivered from their slavery, we, too, have been delivered by Jesus from our slavery to sin.’
      • ‘Feminism made it okay for me to have that abortion, an act that saved me from twenty years of slavery to something I wasn't even ready for.’
      • ‘The bonds of familial affection threaten to mutate into the bonds of slavery at a moment's notice.’
      • ‘Paul does not explain what comprises this slavery to idols.’
      • ‘A fear of missing the train, a slavery to time, has provided ten minutes before the train leaves.’
      • ‘Augustine was in a garden in Milan, overwhelmed by his sinfulness, especially his slavery to sexual desire.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Scotland, he said, was being sold into slavery, its privileges were being lost, its freedoms curtailed.’
      • ‘Thank you for calling me out of my slavery to the bottle and my worship of alcohol.’
      • ‘The one response that can rescue us from this slavery to our own works is the presentation of the Christian message as the only truly liberating force.’
      • ‘It is not loving for the Church to encourage us to live in slavery to this mortal flesh.’