frack·​ing | \ˈfra-kiŋ \

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 \ 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

There are families in Pennsylvania who are scared to drink their own tap water due to fracking. Iris Fen Gillingham, Teen Vogue, "Climate Change Puts the Future at Risk, So I'm Taking Action," 19 July 2018 The highest risk would be well water that has not been tested, especially if there's industrial dumping or hydraulic fracturing (fracking) going on near your home. Rachael Moeller Gorman, Good Housekeeping, "Is Your Tap Water Safe?," 15 Aug. 2012 But apparently, voters wanted none of any of it, so for now, fracking will proceed as planned in Colorado. David Roberts, Vox, "Fossil fuel money crushed clean energy ballot initiatives across the country," 7 Nov. 2018 The natural gas industry boomed a decade ago has hydraulic fracturing — known as fracking — and the new methods of drilling reduced the cost of the energy source. Justin Worland, Time, "Is the Coming Natural Gas Boom Good for the Climate? Depends Who You Ask," 22 June 2018 Two top oil company executives are taking contrasting views on how fracking is changing the industry’s life cycle. Ryan Collins,, "Oil Bosses Take Different Sides of Shale Boom-and-Bust Outlook," 7 Mar. 2018 Such exports are a growing phenomenon in the United States, a traditional importer of natural gas before the fracking boom, and a growing source of energy for Japan, which is still dealing with fallout from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster. Kevin Rector,, "High-speed rail, liquefied natural gas, and the connections between Maryland and Japan," 10 July 2018 This culminated in 2016, when the Colorado Supreme Court shot down municipal fracking bans, saying that state power to regulate the industry trumped local measures. Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, "24 Oil Wells in a School’s Backyard. How Close Is Too Close?," 31 May 2018 That means, for example, a statewide fracking ban that will have its second Senate hearing this week is a nonstarter in the House. Dan Sweeney,, "Power Lunch: Big day in D.C. as Trump rolls out infrastructure plan, Senate debates immigration," 12 Feb. 2018

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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Statistics for fracking

Last Updated

5 Dec 2018

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The first known use of fracking was in 1953

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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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to enclose within walls

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