a black or dark-brown shale or siltstone rich in bitumens, from which shale oil is obtained by destructive distillation.
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Origin of oil shale
First recorded in 1870–75
Words nearby oil shale
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for oil shale
Oil-shale is plentiful on the Congo River near Ponthierville and good indications of oil are recorded in other places.An African Adventure|Isaac F. Marcosson
British Dictionary definitions for oil shale
a fine-grained shale containing oil, which can be extracted by heating
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
Scientific definitions for oil shale
A fine-grained black or dark brown shale containing hydrocarbons in the form of kerogen. When heated, oil shale yields petroleum or natural gas.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.