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slate

Slate is a type of gray metamorphic rock that is made up of quartz and other minerals. The rock can be split into thin layers and the slate used for things like roofing tiles.

In the past when paper was expensive, schoolchildren used slates to do their school work. These were usually made of actual slate rock. Students could practice their writing on the slate with a slate pencil. When they were done, the slate could be erased, which gave rise to the term "clean slate." If you've done things in the past you aren't proud of, you may hope to start over with a clean slate.

Definitions of slate
  1. noun
    a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be split into thin layers
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    type of:
    sedimentary rock
    rock formed from consolidated clay sediments
  2. noun
    thin layers of rock used for roofing
    synonyms: slating
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    type of:
    roofing material
    building material used in constructing roofs
  3. noun
    (formerly) a writing tablet made of slate
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    type of:
    tablet
    a slab of stone or wood suitable for bearing an inscription
  4. noun
    a list of candidates nominated by a political party to run for election to public offices
    synonyms: ticket
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    type of:
    list, listing
    a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)
  5. verb
    cover with slate
    slate the roof”
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    type of:
    roof
    provide a building with a roof; cover a building with a roof
  6. verb
    enter on a list or slate for an election
    “He was slated for borough president”
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    type of:
    cross-file, register
    have one's name listed as a candidate for several parties
  7. verb
    designate or schedule
    “He slated his talk for 9 AM”
    “She was slated to be his successor”
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    type of:
    designate, destine, intend, specify
    design or destine
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