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

n a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be split into thin layers

Type of:
sedimentary rock
rock formed from consolidated clay sediments

n thin layers of rock used for roofing

Type of:
roofing material
building material used in constructing roofs

n (formerly) a writing tablet made of slate

Type of:
a slab of stone or wood suitable for bearing an inscription

n a list of candidates nominated by a political party to run for election to public offices

Type of:
list, listing
a database containing an ordered array of items (names or topics)

v cover with slate

slate the roof”
Type of:
provide a building with a roof; cover a building with a roof

v enter on a list or slate for an election

“He was slated for borough president”
Type of:
cross-file, register
have one's name listed as a candidate for several parties

v designate or schedule

“He slated his talk for 9 AM”
“She was slated to be his successor”
Type of:
designate, destine, intend, specify
design or destine

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.