|1.||a. a compact fine-grained metamorphic rock formed by the effects of heat and pressure on shale. It can be split into thin layers along natural cleavage planes and is used as a roofing and paving material|
|b. (as modifier): a slate tile|
|2.||a roofing tile of slate|
|3.||(formerly) a writing tablet of slate|
|4.||a dark grey colour, often with a purplish or bluish tinge|
|5.||chiefly (US), (Canadian) a list of candidates in an election|
|a. the reference information written on a clapperboard|
|b. informal the clapperboard itself|
|7.||clean slate a record without dishonour|
|8.||informal (Brit), (Irish) have a slate loose to be eccentric or crazy|
|9.||informal (Brit) on the slate on credit|
|10.||informal wipe the slate clean to make a fresh start, esp by forgetting past differences|
|11.||to cover (a roof) with slates|
|12.||chiefly (US) to enter (a person's name) on a list, esp on a political slate|
|13.||a. to choose or destine: he was slated to go far|
|b. to plan or schedule: the trial is slated to begin in three weeks|
|14.||of the colour slate|
|[C14: from Old French esclate, from esclat a fragment; see |
|slate (slāt) Pronunciation Key
A fine-grained metamorphic rock that forms when shale undergoes metamorphosis. Slate splits into thin layers with smooth surfaces. It ranges in color from gray to black or from red to green, depending on the minerals contained in the shale from which it formed.
A new start; especially to make a new start by clearing the record. This phrase comes from the use of chalk and slates in classrooms in the past. By wiping the slate clean, a student could remove any evidence of a mistake.
A fresh start; another chance after wiping out old offenses or debts. This idiom often appears as wipe the slate clean. For example, Henry's boss assured him that the matter was finished and he could start with a clean slate, or He wished he could wipe the slate clean, but it was too late to salvage the relationship. This expression alludes to the slate boards on which school work or tavern bills were recorded in easily wiped-off chalk. Since 1850 or so the term has been used figuratively, and it has long outlived the practice of writing on slate.