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

Yet in December, more than 150,000 acres of public lands were offered for fracking, which impacts water supplies amidst ongoing severe drought in the Southwest. Maia Wikler, Teen Vogue, "Activists Protest Bureau of Land Management Leasing That Allow Oil and Gas Drilling on Public Lands," 15 Apr. 2019 These kids first filed suit against the Obama administration, which, despite enacting environmental regulations, also oversaw a fracking boom. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Do Americans Have a Constitutional Right to a Livable Planet? Meet the 21 Young People Who Say They Do," 21 Mar. 2019 Cabot, which has long denied responsibility, has been waging a fierce PR and legal campaign against Kemble and other fracking opponents who the company says are funded by deep-pocketed environmental groups to spread falsehoods about Cabot. Michael Rubinkam, The Seattle Times, "Gas driller backs off demand to have man thrown in jail," 4 Feb. 2019 Range Resources, one of the biggest oil exploration companies operating in the Marcellus Shale Deposit, comes to the town of Amity, bringing the severely mixed blessings of the fracking era. John Timpane,, "Eliza Griswold's 'Amity and Prosperity': Fracking, profit, and human costs in western Pa.," 28 June 2018 The basin’s weakened status reflects the success of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, which uses a mixture of sand, water and chemicals to fracture underground rock formations and release the oil and gas trapped inside. Micah Maidenberg, WSJ, "Miners Cut Back in Largest U.S. Coal Region," 31 Dec. 2018 Advances in hydraulic fracturing, or fracking — a way of recovering oil and gas from tight rock called shale — created a glut. Jie Jenny Zou Of The Center For Public Integrity, The Seattle Times, "How DC unleashed fossil-fuel exports despite climate worries," 16 Oct. 2018 Eric Lipton and Hiroko Tabuchi at the New York Times reported over the weekend about the lengths the federal government under President Donald Trump has gone to in order to make drilling and fracking easier for oil and gas developers. Emily Stewart, Vox, "The Trump administration is reportedly following industry “scripts” in rolling back oil and gas drilling restrictions," 28 Oct. 2018 Newsom: Says more cap-and-trade money should be spent on low-income communities that have suffered a disproportionate environmental toll. Supports a ban on future fracking but not on current operations. San Francisco Chronicle, "Where candidates for governor stand on California’s biggest issues," 17 May 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

25 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for fracking

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

Comments on fracking

What made you want to look up fracking? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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