slate

1
[ sleyt ]
/ sleɪt /

noun

verb (used with object), slat·ed, slat·ing.

Idioms

    clean slate, an unsullied record; a record marked by creditable conduct: to start over with a clean slate.

Origin of slate

1
1300–50; Middle English sclate < Middle French esclate, feminine of esclat piece split off; see slat1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for clean slate (1 of 2)

slate

1
/ (sleɪt) /

noun

verb (tr)

adjective

of the colour slate

Word Origin for slate

C14: from Old French esclate, from esclat a fragment; see slat 1

British Dictionary definitions for clean slate (2 of 2)

slate

2
/ (sleɪt) /

verb (tr) informal, mainly British

to criticize harshly; censure
to punish or defeat severely

Word Origin for slate

C19: probably from slate 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Science definitions for clean slate

slate

[ slāt ]

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.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Culture definitions for clean slate

clean slate


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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with clean slate (1 of 2)

clean slate


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.

Idioms and Phrases with clean slate (2 of 2)

slate


In addition to the idiom beginning with slate

  • slated for, be

also see:

  • clean slate
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.