\ ˈslāt How to pronounce slate (audio) \

Definition of slate

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a piece of construction material (such as laminated rock) prepared as a shingle for roofing and siding
2 : a dense fine-grained metamorphic rock produced by the compression of various sediments (such as clay or shale) so as to develop a characteristic cleavage
3 : a tablet (as of slate) used for writing on
4a : a written or unwritten record (as of deeds) started with a clean slate
b : a list of candidates for nomination or election
5a : a dark purplish gray
b : any of various grays similar in color to common roofing slates


verb (1)
slated; slating

Definition of slate (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to cover (something) with slate or a slatelike substance slate a roof
2 : to designate (someone or something) for a specified purpose or action occurring especially at a fixed time was slated to direct the play The new model is slated [=scheduled] for release early next year.


verb (2)
slated; slating

Definition of slate (Entry 3 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to thrash or pummel severely
2 chiefly British : to criticize or censure severely

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Other Words from slate


slate adjective
slatelike \ ˈslāt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce slatelike (audio) \ adjective

Examples of slate in a Sentence

Noun Some school blackboards are made of slate. The house has a slate roof.

First Known Use of slate


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

1825, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for slate


Middle English sclate, slate, from Anglo-French *esclat, from esclater to splinter, break off, of Germanic origin; akin to Old High German zesleizzen, slīzan to tear apart — more at slit

Verb (2)

probably alteration of slat entry 1

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Time Traveler for slate

Time Traveler

The first known use of slate was in the 14th century

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Statistics for slate

Cite this Entry

“Slate.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 23 January 2020.

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More Definitions for slate


How to pronounce slate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of slate

: a type of hard rock that splits easily into thin layers
: a small sheet of slate in a wooden frame that was used in schools in the past for writing on with chalk
: a piece of slate that is used with others to cover a roof or wall


\ ˈslāt How to pronounce slate (audio) \

Kids Definition of slate

1 : a fine-grained usually bluish gray rock that splits into thin layers or plates and is used mostly for roofing and blackboards
2 : a framed piece of slate used to write on

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More from Merriam-Webster on slate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for slate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with slate

Spanish Central: Translation of slate

Nglish: Translation of slate for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on slate

What made you want to look up slate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


out of the ordinary or unreasonable

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