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

The government has banned drilling and fracking in French territories by 2040, for instance. Catherine Rampell, The Denver Post, "Rampell: France’s carbon tax was a disaster, but there might be a less politically fraught way," 23 June 2019 In the years since, as cheap natural gas from a fracking boom flooded the market and undercut coal economically, and as the Obama administration cracked down on pollution from coal mining and burning coal, plants such as Cane Run have been retired. James Bruggers, The Courier-Journal, "As a Louisville coal-fired plant comes tumbling down, can coal power be far behind?," 8 June 2019 Renewables are getting ever cheaper The rise of fracking has produced a natural gas boom in the USA. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, "Solving for climate change: Everything you know about energy in the US might be wrong," 4 June 2019 This combination makes Wisconsin sand ideal for use in another extractive industry: hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, in the quest for natural gas and oil. Geoffrey Giller, Discover Magazine, "The Midwestern Sand Mines Feeding the Fracking Industry," 26 Apr. 2019 No part of the industry suffered more than the service companies that do the drilling, fracking and other workaday tasks of the oil field. Jennifer Hiller, San Antonio Express-News, "Pioneer Energy Services narrows 1Q loss, beats revenue expectations," 2 May 2018 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

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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Last Updated

4 Jul 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

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