verb (used with object), slat·ed, slat·ing.
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
- the reference information written on a clapperboard
- informalthe clapperboard itself
- to choose or destinehe was slated to go far
- to plan or schedulethe trial is slated to begin in three weeks
Word Origin for slate
verb (tr) informal, mainly British
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 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