Definition for SLAY

SLAY, v.t. [pret. slew; pp. slain. Sax. slægan, slagan; Goth. slahan; G. schlagen; D. slaaen; Sw. slå; Dan. slaaer, to strike, to kill. The proper sense is to strike, and as beating was an early mode of killing, this word, like smite, came to signify to kill. It seems to be formed on the root of lay; as we say, to lay on.]

  1. To kill; to put to death by a weapon or by violence. We say, he slew a man with a sword, with a stone, or with a club, or with other arms; but we never say, the sherif slays a malefactor with a halter, or a man is slain on the gallows or by poison. So that slay retains something of its primitive sense of striking or beating. It is particularly applied to killing in battle, but is properly applied also the killing of an individual man or beast.
  2. To destroy.

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