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

And innovations in fracking have dropped the cost of US natural gas far below that of coal. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Trump tried to rescue coal. Instead, coal capacity retirements doubled in 2018," 29 Nov. 2018 Continental helped pioneer horizontal drilling and fracking in the Bakken Shale. Christopher M. Matthews, WSJ, "Oil’s Tumble Threatens U.S. Shale Drillers," 26 Nov. 2018 By 2013, communities along the Front Range were pushing for control of their own backyards, enacting laws that tried to curb fracking near homes and playgrounds. Julie Turkewitz, New York Times, "24 Oil Wells in a School’s Backyard. How Close Is Too Close?," 31 May 2018 The goal here is more workmanlike: to assemble the acreage that contains the most oil and to execute the drilling and fracking plan that will pull it out at the lowest cost. Jeffrey Ball, Fortune, "Photographing The Permian Basin," 25 May 2018 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

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

3 Jan 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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