From Middle English schale (“shell, husk; scale”), from Old English sċealu (“shell, husk, pod”), from Proto-Germanic *skalō (compare West Frisian skaal (“dish”), Dutch schaal (“shell”), schalie (“shale”), German Schale (“husk, pod”)), from Proto-Indo-European *(s)kelo- (“split, cleaved”) (compare Lithuanian skalà (“splinter”), Old Church Slavonic скала (skala, “rock, stone”), Polish skała (“rock”), Albanian halë (“fish bone, splinter”), Sanskrit कल (kalá, “small part”)), from to split, cleave (compare Hittite [script needed] (iškalla, “to tear apart, slit open”), Lithuanian skélti (“to split”), Ancient Greek σκάλλω (skállō, “to hoe, harrow”)).
- Rhymes: -eɪl
shale (plural shales)
- A shell or husk; a cod or pod.
- the green shales of a bean
- (geology) A fine-grained sedimentary rock of a thin, laminated, and often friable, structure.
2007 March 23, Patricia Leigh Brown, “The Window Box Gets Some Tough Competition”, in New York Times:
- As on all large green roofs, the soil is not dirt exactly but a gravel-like growing medium of granulated pumice, shales, clays and other minerals.
- To take off the shell or coat of.