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See also: Slate



  • IPA(key): /sleɪt/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: slate
  • Rhymes: -eɪt

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English slate, slat, slatte, sclate, sclatte, from Old French esclate, from esclat (French éclat), from Frankish *slaitan (to split, break), from Proto-Germanic *slaitijaną, causative of *slītaną (to cut up, split). Doublet of éclat.

Alternative forms[edit]


English Wikipedia has an article on:
(sense 1) Slate
(sense 3) Slate with writing (1894)

slate (countable and uncountable, plural slates)

  1. (uncountable, geology) A fine-grained homogeneous sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash which has been metamorphosed so that it cleaves easily into thin layers.
    • 1941 March, “Notes and News: The Demand for Slate”, in Railway Magazine, page 141:
      Some of the minor Welsh 2 ft. gauge railways, we hear from Mr. N. F. G. Dalston, are enjoying a miniature boom owing to the demand for slate for the repair of damaged roofs.
    • 1945 May and June, Charles E. Lee, “The Penrhyn Railway and its Locomotives—1”, in Railway Magazine, page 138:
      The Penrhyn slate quarry possibly dates back to the sixteenth century, as it appears that in 1580 Sion Tudor asked the Bishop of Bangor for a shipload of slate.
  2. (uncountable) The bluish-grey colour of most slate.
    Synonyms: slate blue, slate grey, slate gray
  3. (countable) A chalkboard, sheet of slate for writing on with chalk or with a thin rod of slate (a slate pencil) formerly commonly used by both students and teachers in schools.
    • 1918, Norman Lindsay, The Magic Pudding, Sydney: Angus and Robertson, page 12:
      He wrote all down one side of the slate and all up the other, and then remarked--"As there's no time to finish that, The time has come to have our chat."
  4. (countable) A roofing-tile made of slate.
    • 1945 May and June, Charles E. Lee, “The Penrhyn Railway and its Locomotives—1”, in Railway Magazine, page 138:
      In 1765 only 80 men were employed, and the annual output of slates did not exceed 1,000 tons, and large-scale quarrying was not begun by Lord Penrhyn until 1782.
    • 2021 December 15, Robin Leleux, “Awards honour the best restoration projects: The Southeastern Commercial Restoration Award: Appledore”, in RAIL, number 946, pages 56–57:
      The necessary works were extensive and included replacing missing and damaged slates and other roof repairs (in order to make the building watertight), pointing and drainpipe replacement, and extensive replacement of rotten floorboarding.
  5. (countable) A record of money owed.
    Put it on my slate – I’ll pay you next week.
    Synonyms: account, bill, tab
  6. (countable, chiefly US) A list of affiliated candidates for an election.
    • 2023 May 8, Jonathan Head, “Thailand election: The young radicals shaking up politics”, in BBC News (World)[1]:
      Ice is one of a slate of young, idealistic candidates for Move Forward who have joined mainstream politics in the hope that this election allows Thailand to break the cycle of military coups []
  7. An artificial material resembling slate and used for the same purposes.
  8. A thin plate of any material; a flake.
  9. A tablet computer.
    • 2012, Chris Sells, Brandon Satrom, Don Box, Building Windows 8 Apps with JavaScript:
      Hearing Steve Ballmer and others talk about the availability of Windows 8 on slates, laptops, netbooks, notebooks, and screens from 7 to 70 inches might lead us to believe that Microsoft is attempting to gain market share solely through []
  10. (film) A clapperboard.
Derived terms[edit]
See also[edit]


slate (not comparable)

  1. Having the bluish-grey/gray colour of slate.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English slatten, sclatten, from the noun (see above).


slate (third-person singular simple present slates, present participle slating, simple past and past participle slated)

  1. (transitive) To cover with slate.
    The old church ledgers show that the roof was slated in 1775.
  2. (transitive, chiefly British) To criticise harshly.
    The play was slated by the critics.
  3. (transitive, chiefly US) To schedule.
    The election was slated for November 2nd.
    • 2019 October, Tony Miles, Philip Sherratt, “EMR kicks off new era”, in Modern Railways, page 58:
      The Cleethorpes to Barton-on-Humber branch had been slated to transfer from Northern into the East Midlands franchise, but this move is still awaiting a DfT decision.
  4. (transitive, chiefly US) To anticipate or strongly expect.
    The next version of our software is slated to be the best release ever.
  5. (transitive, regional) To set a dog upon (a person).
  6. (transitive) To nominate, appoint, or designate.
  7. (transitive, film) To record a synchronization mark using a clapperboard.
    • 2013, Rick Smith, Kim Miller, Shoot to Sell: Make Money Producing Special Interest Videos:
      Why You Want to Slate your Shots
Derived terms[edit]


  • slate”, in OneLook Dictionary Search.