noun \ˈshāl\

: a soft kind of rock that splits easily into flat pieces

Full Definition of SHALE

:  a fissile rock that is formed by the consolidation of clay, mud, or silt, has a finely stratified or laminated structure, and is composed of minerals essentially unaltered since deposition
shal·ey also shaly \ˈshā-lē\ adjective

Origin of SHALE

probably from obsolete or dialect shale scale, shell, from Middle English, from Old English scealu — more at shell
First Known Use: 1747


Next Word in the Dictionary: shale clayPrevious Word in the Dictionary: ShalakoAll Words Near: shale
May 29, 2015
bodacious Hear it
unmistakable, remarkable, or voluptuous
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears