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slash (v.)

1540s, "to cut with a stroke of a blade or whip;" 1650s, "to strike violently," perhaps from French esclachier "to break," variant of esclater "to break, splinter" (see slat). Meaning "to clear land" (of trees) is from 1821, American English. In reference to prices, it is attested from 1906. Related: Slashed; slashing. Slash-and-burn for a method of clearing forest for cultivation is from 1919.

slash (n.)

"a cutting stroke with a weapon," 1570s, from slash (v.); sense of "slit in a garment" is from 1610s; that of "open tract in a forest" is first attested 1825, American English. As a punctuation mark in writing or printing, it is recorded from 1961.

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Definitions of slash from WordNet
1
slash (v.)
cut with sweeping strokes; as with an ax or machete;
Synonyms: cut down
slash (v.)
beat severely with a whip or rod;
Synonyms: flog / welt / whip / lather / lash / strap / trounce
slash (v.)
cut open;
she slashed her wrists
Synonyms: gash
slash (v.)
cut drastically;
Prices were slashed
slash (v.)
move or stir about violently;
Synonyms: convulse / thresh / thresh about / thrash / thrash about / toss / jactitate
2
slash (n.)
a wound made by cutting;
Synonyms: cut / gash / slice
slash (n.)
an open tract of land in a forest that is strewn with debris from logging (or fire or wind);
slash (n.)
a punctuation mark (/) used to separate related items of information;
slash (n.)
a strong sweeping cut made with a sharp instrument;
Synonyms: gash
From wordnet.princeton.edu