- a fine-grained rock formed by the metamorphosis of clay, shale, etc., that tends to split along parallel cleavage planes, usually at an angle to the planes of stratification.
- a thin piece or plate of this rock or a similar material, used especially for roofing or as a writing surface.
- a dull, dark bluish gray.
- a list of candidates, officers, etc., to be considered for nomination, appointment, election, or the like.
- to cover with or as with slate.
- to write or set down for nomination or appointment: the district leader slated for city judge.
- to plan or designate (something) for a particular place and time; schedule: The premiere was slated for January.
- to censure or criticize harshly or violently; scold.
- to punish severely.
- clean slate, an unsullied record; a record marked by creditable conduct: to start over with a clean slate.
Origin of slate1
- 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
- (as modifier)a slate tile
- a roofing tile of slate
- (formerly) a writing tablet of slate
- a dark grey colour, often with a purplish or bluish tinge
- mainly US and Canadian a list of candidates in an election
- the reference information written on a clapperboard
- informalthe clapperboard itself
- clean slate a record without dishonour
- have a slate loose British and Irish informal to be eccentric or crazy
- on the slate British informal on credit
- wipe the slate clean informal to make a fresh start, esp by forgetting past differences
- to cover (a roof) with slates
- mainly US to enter (a person's name) on a list, esp on a political slate
- to choose or destinehe was slated to go far
- to plan or schedulethe trial is slated to begin in three weeks
- of the colour slate
Word Origin for slate
- to criticize harshly; censure
- to punish or defeat severely
Word Origin for slate
mid-14c., from Old French esclate, fem. of esclat "split piece, splinter" (Modern French éclat; see slat), so called because the rock splits easily into thin plates. As an adjective, 1510s. As a color, first recorded 1813. Sense of "a writing tablet" (made of slate), first recorded late 14c., led to that of "list of preliminary candidates prepared by party managers," first recorded 1842, from notion of being easily altered or erased. Clean slate (1856) is an image from customer accounts chalked up in a tavern.
1520s, "to cover with slates" (earlier sclatten, late 15c.), from slate (n.). Meaning "propose, schedule" is from 1883; earlier "to nominate" (1804); the notion is of writing on a slate board. Related: Slated; slating.
- 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.
In addition to the idiom beginning with slate
- slated for, be
- clean slate