[ shist ]
/ ʃɪst /


any of a class of crystalline metamorphic rocks whose constituent mineral grains have a more or less parallel or foliated arrangement.

Nearby words

  1. schism,
  2. schism, great,
  3. schismatic,
  4. schismatist,
  5. schismatize,
  6. schisto-,
  7. schistocelia,
  8. schistocormia,
  9. schistocyte,
  10. schistocytosis

Origin of schist

1775–85; < New Latin schistus, Latin (lapis) schistos < Greek schistós divided, curdled, divisible, derivative of schízein to split, with -tos adj. suffix Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for schist

British Dictionary definitions for schist


/ (ʃɪst) /


any metamorphic rock that can be split into thin layers because its micaceous minerals have become aligned in thin parallel bands
Derived Formsschistose, adjectiveschistosity (ʃɪˈstɒsɪtɪ), noun

Word Origin for schist

C18: from French schiste, from Latin lapis schistos stone that may be split, from Greek skhizein to split

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

Word Origin and History for schist



type of layered metamorphic rock, 1795 (earlier schistus, c.1600), from French schiste (16c.), from Latin schistos lapis "stone that splits easily" (Pliny), from Greek skhistos "divided, separated," from skhizein "to split" (see shed (v.)). The rock splits easily in layers. Liddell and Scott says Greek skhistos lithos was "probably talc."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Science definitions for schist


[ shĭst ]

A highly foliated, medium-grained metamorphic rock that splits easily into flakes or slabs along well-defined planes of mica. The mineral composition of schist is varied and is often reflected in the name given to the rock. For example, a schist that contains garnet is called a garnet schist. A schist containing chlorite is called a chlorite schist.
Related formsschistose adjective (shĭstōs′)

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