shale

noun \ ˈshāl \
Updated on: 20 Nov 2017

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

shaley

or less commonly shaly play \ˈshā-lē\ adjective

Recent Examples of shale from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of shale

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


SHALE Defined for English Language Learners

shale

noun

Definition of shale for English Language Learners

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


SHALE Defined for Kids

shale

noun \ ˈshāl \

Definition of shale for Students

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


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