\ ˈshāl How to pronounce shale (audio) \

Definition of shale

: a fissile rock that is formed by the consolidation of clay, mud, or silt, has a finely stratified or laminated structure, and is composed of minerals essentially unaltered since deposition

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Other Words from shale

shaley or less commonly shaly \ ˈshā-​lē How to pronounce shaly (audio) \ adjective

Examples of shale in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web That’s owing to a U.S. shale boom that has driven production up since 2011, not to deregulation or any other new effort by the Trump administration. Josh Boak And Hope Yen, USA TODAY, "FACT CHECK: Looking at Trump's claims in his State of Union address," 5 Feb. 2020 Fueled by the boom of shale gas production, 334 projects related to plastics have been announced since 2010, according to the American Chemistry Council [ACC], a trade group that includes the plastics industry. Julie Grant,, "Ever hear of a nurdle? This new form of pollution could be coming to the Ohio River," 13 Jan. 2020 The surge in shale drilling in northeastern Colorado and the population growth that followed have driven up land values and home prices overall. Aldo Svaldi, The Denver Post, "Colorado homes near oil wells face lower values, new study finds," 8 Dec. 2019 Located on Devon Energy’s Migura B lease, the well was originally drilled and completed by the shale drilling arm of British oil major BP but was transferred to Devon on Oct. 28, Railroad Commission records show. Sergio Chapa, Houston Chronicle, "Majority of families return home weeks after DeWitt County blowout," 20 Nov. 2019 Perry, who oversaw a boom in both wind power and shale drilling in his home state during his time as governor, expressed his faith in the U.S. coal industry’s future on multiple occasions., "WASHINGTON - Energy Secretary Rick Perry is planning to step down from his post by the end of the year, according to four individuals briefed on his plans, making him one of roughly a dozen Cabinet members to leave their post during President Trump’s administration.," 4 Oct. 2019 Investors have cut off cash infusions to shale producers, after frackers have largely failed to turn a profit for years. Christopher M. Matthews, WSJ, "Schlumberger Plans U.S. Pullback as Shale Oil Drillers Struggle," 17 Jan. 2020 But analysts think that without a major disruption to supply, oil will stay in the $60 to $65 per barrel range, in part due to the strength of American shale producers. Julia Horowitz, CNN, "Defense and cybersecurity stocks have gotten a boost from US-Iran tension. Can they hold onto their gains?," 13 Jan. 2020 The pump at will policy of 2014 was, in part, a response to the failure of other producers to regulate their supply — in that case U.S. shale producers. Julian Lee | Bloomberg, Washington Post, "Policing OPEC’s Oil Deal Risks A Price Crash," 8 Dec. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'shale.' 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 shale

1747, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for shale

probably from obsolete or dialect shale scale, shell, from Middle English, from Old English scealu — more at shell

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Time Traveler for shale

Time Traveler

The first known use of shale was in 1747

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Statistics for shale

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Shale.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for shale


How to pronounce shale (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of shale

: a soft kind of rock that splits easily into flat pieces


\ ˈshāl How to pronounce shale (audio) \

Kids Definition of shale

: a rock with a fine grain formed from clay, mud, or silt

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More from Merriam-Webster on shale

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with shale

Spanish Central: Translation of shale

Nglish: Translation of shale for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of shale for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about shale

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