/ sleɪv; NAmE / noun , verb
a person who is legally owned by another person and is forced to work for them :
She treated her daughter like a slave.
slave of / to sth a person who is so strongly influenced by sth that they cannot live without it, or cannot make their own decisions :
We are slaves of the motor car.
Sue's a slave to fashion.
( technical ) a device that is directly controlled by another one
[ v , usually + adv. / prep. ] slave (away) (at sth) to work very hard :
I've been slaving away all day trying to get this work finished.
I haven't got time to spend hours slaving over a hot stove (= doing a lot of cooking) .
Middle English : shortening of Old French esclave , equivalent of medieval Latin sclava (feminine) Slavonic (captive): the Slavonic peoples had been reduced to a servile state by conquest in the 9th cent.