: a metamorphic crystalline rock that has a closely foliated structure and can be split along approximately parallel planes

Examples of schist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Atop the unchanging schist, the people replaced each other, the ethnic tribes from all over trading places in the tenements and townhouses, which in turn fell and were replaced by the next buildings. Lawrence Jackson, Harper's Magazine, 10 July 2023 Stephen Rowland, a paleontologist in the UNLV department of geoscience, told me that the Precambrian granite and schist at the base are about 1.7 billion years old. Rebecca Coffey, Discover Magazine, 1 Feb. 2011 In her book, there is a picture of a giant boulder in Upper Manhattan sandwiched between two residential buildings on Bennett Avenue, a protrusion of Manhattan schist about three stories tall rising out of the ground. Elizabeth A. Harris, New York Times, 4 Mar. 2023 The lightness proved helpful both in forestalling fatigue during the long overland stretches and in facilitating the pair’s most triumphant moment: scaling the hundred-plus feet of schist up to the castle with canoes perched on shoulders, and stumbling only briefly near the top. Ben McGrath, The New Yorker, 28 Mar. 2022 In the southern province of Otago, rivers also carry gold eroded from the basement schist across the landscape. Bill Morris, Discover Magazine, 24 Apr. 2023 Downstream, Wu Qinglong and his team found a wide swath of sediments that matched what a raging flood would have carried from Jishi Gorge: mostly fragments of purple-brown mudrock and green schist, washed into the lower Jishi Gorge and downstream into the Guanting Basin. K. N. Smith, Discover Magazine, 4 Aug. 2016 No, but the bedrock schist beneath them is studded with opal, beryl, chrysoberyl, garnet, and three kinds of tourmaline. Rebecca Coffey, Discover Magazine, 5 July 2011 The river has been flowing in its course for millions of years, downcutting through layers of sandstone, limestone, granite, shale and schist to form the Grand Canyon. Los Angeles Times, 26 Jan. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'schist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


borrowed from French schiste (Middle French pierre schiste, with pierre "stone"), borrowed from Latin schistos (in Pliny's Naturalis historia) "a kind of iron ore, perhaps limonite," shortened from lapis schistos, literally, "fissile stone," from lapis "stone" + schistos "easily split, fissile," borrowed from Greek schistós "split, divided," verbal adjective of schízein "to split, separate" — more at shed entry 1

First Known Use

circa 1782, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of schist was circa 1782

Dictionary Entries Near schist

Cite this Entry

“Schist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: a metamorphic rock that can be split along nearly parallel planes

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