slavery

Slavery is the brutal and immoral practice of forcing someone into servitude without paying them.

For hundreds of years in the United States, wealthy landowners benefited from the institution of slavery, which forced millions of Africans to work their entire lives on giant farms. The practice of slavery finally ended in the U.S. after the Civil War. The word slavery comes from the Latin sclava, meaning “Slavonic captive,” referring to the 9th-century slavery of Slavonic people, but it came to mean anyone in captivity, not just Slavs.

Definitions of slavery
  1. noun
    the state of being under the control of another person
    synonyms: bondage, thraldom, thrall, thralldom
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    types:
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    bonded labor
    a practice in which employers give high-interest loans to workers whose entire families then labor at low wages to pay off the debt; the practice is illegal in the United States
    servitude
    state of subjection to an owner or master or forced labor imposed as punishment
    serfdom, serfhood, vassalage
    the state of a serf
    villainage, villeinage
    the legal status or condition of servitude of a villein or feudal serf
    type of:
    subjection, subjugation
    forced submission to control by others
  2. noun
    the practice of owning slaves
    synonyms: slaveholding
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    type of:
    pattern, practice
    a customary way of operation or behavior
  3. noun
    work done under harsh conditions for little or no pay
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    type of:
    labor, labour, toil
    productive work (especially physical work done for wages)
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