Definition of Slav in English:



  • A member of a group of peoples in central and eastern Europe speaking Slavic languages.

    • ‘Greeks, Italians, Slavs, Turks and Russians all composed their own versions; they cannot possibly be reconciled.’
    • ‘More headway was made among the Slavs of central Europe, aided by the relative ease of access and the penumbra of Carolingian power.’
    • ‘The Russians are primarily eastern Slavs, but many also have a Finnish, Siberian, Turkish, or Baltic heritage.’
    • ‘Turks, Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Slavs, and Jews were represented.’
    • ‘By the ninth century, Eastern Slavs began to settle in what are now the Ukraine, Belarus, and the Novgorod and Smolensk regions.’
    • ‘In fact, Cyril and Methodius were Greek Orthodox monks from Salonika who brought Orthodoxy to the eastern Slavs.’
    • ‘Rusyns are eastern Slavs who live in Slovakia, Ukraine, and Poland.’
    • ‘Culturally, what difference will 40 million Slavs make to Europe's view of the world?’
    • ‘His language was very similar to the language of Slavs living around the town.’
    • ‘By the late second century C.E., peoples such as the Slavs, Germans, Huns, and Bohemians began to raid Austria.’
    • ‘The Slavs called these Scandinavians ‘Rus’, which may be the origin of the name ‘Russia’.’
    • ‘The Serbs went south, and became known as the South Slavs, or Yugoslavs.’
    • ‘Croats also began to look to Serbs and other southern Slavs as people with whom they shared a linguistic and cultural affinity.’
    • ‘And thus Asparukh founded a state of Slavs and Bulgars, binding his tribe with the tribal alliance of the seven Slavic tribes and the Severians.’
    • ‘He continued to defend the right of Slavs to have liturgies in their own language and read the holy books in this language too.’
    • ‘In the mid-nineteenth century, Bosnians joined Slavs from Serbia and Croatia in an uprising against the Turks.’
    • ‘However, Tsar Nicholas II of Russia was also under pressure from Slav nationalists, who demanded that their fellow Slavs in Serbia be defended.’
    • ‘More and more Croats embraced the idea of unity with the South Slavs, or ‘Yugoslavism.’’


another term for Slavic
  • ‘The last three weeks have seen its fragile ethnic balance shaken, highlighting differences between the country's three-quarter Slav majority and its substantial Albanian minority.’
  • ‘Albanian guerrillas with backing from Kosovo began operating in Macedonia earlier this year, bringing the majority Orthodox Slav country to the brink of civil war.’
  • ‘They were forced to adopt Slav names and their religious and cultural rights were changed and this process became known as the Revival Process.’
  • ‘Leaders of Macedonia's Slav majority, backed by Western governments, have ruled those options out.’
  • ‘However, a split between Slav politicians in the government is complicating issues.’


From medieval Latin Sclavus, late Greek Sklabos, later also from medieval Latin Slavus.