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
SHALY Defined for Kids


noun \ˈshāl\

Definition of SHALE for Kids

:  a rock with a fine grain formed from clay, mud, or silt


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