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shale

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noun \ˈshāl\

Simple Definition of shale

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

Full Definition of shale

  1. :  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·eyplay 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



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