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)

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fracking

frack \ ˈfrak How to pronounce fracking (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 Aera received 49 of the 69 fracking permits that the state has approved this year. Dustin Gardiner,, "California approved far more permits to drill oil, gas wells in 2020," 24 Dec. 2020 Biden is also focused on keeping his lead in Pennsylvania, which has narrowed to about 4 percentage points as the former vice president has flip-flopped his stance on fracking, an area where Trump has been attacking Biden hard. Lucas Manfredi, Fox News, "Election Day 2 days away: Trump, Biden barnstorm swing states," 1 Nov. 2020 National polling shows growing skepticism of fracking, the process used in extracting oil and gas in shale-rich states like Pennsylvania. Kathleen Ronayne And Ellen Knickmeyer, Star Tribune, "Biden calls for 'transition' from oil, GOP sees opening," 22 Oct. 2020 In energy, Trump’s been a champion of fracking and new pipelines, while Biden backs a climate-friendly agenda that could hurt oil companies. Shawn Tully, Fortune, "Stocks in ‘election-sensitive’ sectors seem oblivious to which candidate wins. Why?," 18 Oct. 2020 Hydraulic fracturing, better known as fracking, helped spur a production boom that led to gas displacing coal as the country’s top power source. Sammy Roth Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Boiling Point: It’s been a wild ride for the natural gas industry. What comes next?," 3 Dec. 2020 Can anyone name a positive fracking story that appeared in any mainstream national news outlet in the last decade? James Mccarthy, National Review, "Why Do Business Reporters Hate Business?," 30 Nov. 2020 The Democrat also plans to eliminate greenhouse gases from the power sector by 2035 and has pledged to bar new fracking on areas overseen by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management. Bloomberg Wire, Dallas News, "Energy Transfer, Pioneer Natural Resources, Marathon ponder a potential Biden win," 6 Nov. 2020 Still, Biden would be able to ban new fracking on federal lands via an executive order, which would hit producers in New Mexico and elsewhere. Gerson Freitas Jr,, "Oil Stocks Climb, Renewables Slip as U.S. Green Ambitions Dim," 4 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of fracking

1953, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fracking

by shortening & alteration from (hydraulic) fracturing

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fracking

Time Traveler for fracking

Time Traveler

The first known use of fracking was in 1953

See more words from the same year

Listen to Our Podcast about fracking

Statistics for fracking

Last Updated

7 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fracking.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

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

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).


Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Anagram puzzles meet word search.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!