noun \ˈslāt\

: a type of hard rock that splits easily into thin layers

: a small sheet of slate in a wooden frame that was used in schools in the past for writing on with chalk

: a piece of slate that is used with others to cover a roof or wall

Full Definition of SLATE

:  a piece of construction material (as laminated rock) prepared as a shingle for roofing and siding
:  a dense fine-grained metamorphic rock produced by the compression of various sediments (as clay or shale) so as to develop a characteristic cleavage
:  a tablet (as of slate) used for writing on
a :  a written or unwritten record (as of deeds) <started with a clean slate>
b :  a list of candidates for nomination or election
a :  a dark purplish gray
b :  any of various grays similar in color to common roofing slates
slate adjective
slate·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective

Examples of SLATE

  1. Some school blackboards are made of slate.
  2. The house has a slate roof.

Origin of SLATE

Middle English sclate, slate, from Anglo-French *esclat, from esclater to splinter, break off, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German zesleizzen, slīzan to tear apart — more at slit
First Known Use: 14th century

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale


transitive verb

Definition of SLATE

:  to cover with slate or a slatelike substance <slate a roof>
:  to designate for a specified purpose or action :  schedule <was slated to direct the play>

First Known Use of SLATE

15th century

Other Building Terms

batten, cistern, hearth, lath, transom, wainscot


transitive verb

Definition of SLATE

:  to thrash or pummel severely
chiefly British :  to criticize or censure severely

Origin of SLATE

probably alteration of 1slat
First Known Use: 1825
SLATELIKE Defined for Kids


noun \ˈslāt\

Definition of SLATE for Kids

:  a fine-grained usually bluish gray rock that splits into thin layers or plates and is used mostly for roofing and blackboards
:  a framed piece of slate used to write on


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July 29, 2015
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