frack·​ing | \ ˈfra-kiŋ How to pronounce fracking (audio) \

Definition of fracking

: the injection of fluid into shale beds at high pressure in order to free up petroleum resources (such as oil or natural gas)

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Other Words from fracking

frack \ ˈfrak How to pronounce frack (audio) \ verb

Did You Know?

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique in which a liquid is injected under high pressure into a well in order to create tiny fissures in the rock deep beneath the earth which then allow gas and oil to flow into the well. The term "hydraulic fracturing" is first known to have appeared in print in a 1948 issue of Oil & Gas Journal. A 1953 issue of the same journal also contains the earliest known print use of "fracking." The word fracking (sometimes spelled fraccing or fracing, particularly by those in the gas and oil industries) was created by shortening "fracturing." The addition of the "k" brings the word into conformity with the inflected forms of similar English words ending in a vowel plus "c," such as shellacking, panicking, and frolicking.

Examples of fracking in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Then came fracking, and Midland, the center of a West Texas region known as the Permian Basin, would never be the same again. Chris Isidore, CNN, "Midland, Texas: America's ultimate boomtown," 6 Nov. 2019 But fracking, which involves injecting high pressure liquid into underground rock formations to release trapped oil and gas, has caused adverse environmental effects like earthquakes and the pollution of aquifers across the United States. NBC News, "Oil-backed Blue Wave: New Mexico funds progressive policy through fracking," 27 Oct. 2019 One of the strongest microcosms that shows how these battles are still going on is in the North Dakota oil boom that happened recently because of fracking. Sydney Bucksbaum,, "Why Graham Phillips' Prince Eric in The Little Mermaid Live! is more swoon-worthy than ever," 4 Nov. 2019 There have been considerable protests against fracking in recent years., "LONDON — The British government announced Saturday that it will no longer allow fracking because of new scientific analysis that casts doubts on the safety of the controversial practice, but some critics called the action an election stunt and demanded a permanent ban.," 3 Nov. 2019 Oil-field services company Cudd Energy Services is laying off all 117 employees at its San Antonio facility due to a slowdown in fracking activity. Randy Diamond,, "Fracking slump is hitting home in S.A.," 2 Nov. 2019 Widespread fracking has in recent years transformed the US energy industry, driving oil production higher while creating high-paying jobs. Hanna Ziady, CNN, "The UK once hoped for an American-style fracking boom. It's not happening," 24 Oct. 2019 But if the aim is harm reduction, fracking has been yet another boon, not only reviving countless economically depressed areas and weaning us off foreign oil but also significantly reducing our overall CO2 emissions. Jonah Goldberg, National Review, "What Do Progressives Have against Vaporous Substances?," 20 Sep. 2019 Production techniques—including hydraulic fracturing, or fracking—led to large-scale underground wastewater disposal, which scientists have tied to the state’s 900-fold increase in quakes since 2008. Anna Kuchment, Scientific American, "Even if Injection of Fracking Wastewater Stops, Quakes Won’t," 9 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fracking.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of fracking

1953, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fracking

by shortening & alteration from (hydraulic) fracturing

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Time Traveler for fracking

Time Traveler

The first known use of fracking was in 1953

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Last Updated

5 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Fracking.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 12 December 2019.

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More Definitions for fracking


How to pronounce fracking (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of fracking

: a method used for getting oil and gas from underground rocks by injecting liquid into the rocks so that they break apart

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a period of high artistic development

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