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slate

Syllabification: slate
Pronunciation: /slāt
 
/

Definition of slate in English:

noun

1A fine-grained gray, green, or bluish metamorphic rock easily split into smooth, flat pieces.
Example sentences
  • The most resistant rocks are quartzite and quartz-rich sandstones, and tough fine-grained rocks such as slate.
  • New surfaces are made from chemical compounds and are designed to mimic granite, limestone, marble, slate, or soapstone.
  • It includes a variety of rocks, such as basalt, granite, gneiss, quartzite, slate, and schist.
1.1A flat piece of slate used as roofing material.
Example sentences
  • She said she feared loose slates and masonry could fall from the roof.
  • We appear to have inherited a number of problems with roofing tiles and slates which are not always fixed with the precision and detailing required by the manufacturers (number of fixings etc).
  • The council discovered that there were loose slates on the roof which would have fallen into the street without the gutter in place.
2A flat piece of slate used for writing on, typically framed in wood, formerly used in schools.
Example sentences
  • The colliery village's principle attractions are the driftwood mine, where the visitor is taken to the coalface, and the school, in which children can try out the desks and writing slates and play games of the period.
  • Each of the boxes includes enough pencils, exercise books, slates and school bags for a class of up to 80 pupils.
  • She is quite pleased with her knowledge about courts when she is able to pick out the jury, twelve animals and birds who are busy writing on their slates.
2.1A board showing the identifying details of a take of a motion picture, which is held in front of the camera at its beginning and end.
Example sentences
  • The director of this film actually clapped the slate and then decided that these scenes were KEEPERS.
  • We ascend, our cameras out of film and our slates covered in a jumble of barely decipherable notes.
  • The slate's most obvious purpose is the documentation it provides on what scene is being filmed, when it was filmed, what take it was, which film reel it was, etc.
2.2A small portable computer that accepts input directly onto its screen rather than via a keyboard or mouse; a tablet computer: after getting our hands on one this afternoon, we found that it’s a solid, well-performing slate that’s easy on the eyes
More example sentences
  • Notebook computers and slates that let you enter data in handwriting and store it either as "digital ink" or convert it to text had a big "wow" factor.
  • Laptop computers, slates, tablets and the obligatory 'Argyll Shipwrecks' book sat open on the surrounding tables.
  • The retailer could sell its slate as a loss leader, but still profit by directing its tablet users to its own services and software.
3 [usually as modifier] A bluish-gray color: suits of slate gray
More example sentences
  • The morning sky was cloudless, and a dark shade of slate gray, not yet dawn.
  • Cool colours such as slate grey, navy, sleek steel and chrome are seen as inherently male.
  • Its cousin, the stunning kokako, is slate gray with sky-blue wattles decorating a black-masked face.
4A list of candidates for election to a post or office, typically a group sharing a set of political views: another slate of candidates will be picked for the state convention
4.1chiefly North American A range of something offered: the company has revealed details of a $60 million slate of film productions

verb

[with object] Back to top  
1Cover (something, especially a roof) with slates.
Example sentences
  • The roof will be slated and the front elevations will mostly be of natural stone, and each house has a large back garden.
  • The entire centre of the yard was covered and slated with a large open-ended platform at either end.
  • The contractor shall inspect all surfaces prepared for slating.
2British informal Criticize severely: his work was slated by the critics
More example sentences
  • Although I admit to being one of those who'll slate a referee at a match, I also understand the enormous task they face once the whistle is blown.
  • They both slated the referee, who, they claimed, was wrong to allow a goal scored by Dublin.
  • Last December it was slated in a highly critical report released by the powerful Commons Treasury Select Committee.
Synonyms
3 (usually be slated) chiefly North American Schedule; plan: renovations are slated for late June [with object]: construction is slated to begin late next year
More example sentences
  • The plan is slated to take effect for 2007 models.
  • At press time, renovation work was slated to start on Nov.18, but McDonough expected some permitting delays.
  • He said more Jacksonville stores are slated for renovations, but could not confirm which ones.…
3.1Nominate (someone) as a candidate for an office or post: I understand that I am being slated for promotion
More example sentences
  • I am slated to open an office in a prestigious location with a co-worker coming up in September.
  • The Nominations Committee has slated candidates for the position of Chair-elect and Secretary.
  • The criticism the Municipal Reform Club received from Republican circles for not endorsing Thomas and for slating a candidate to oppose Bash seemed to increase Thomas' confidence.
4Identify (a movie take) using a slate.
Example sentences
  • They discuss how to proceed, conduct run-throughs, slate shots, film the filming; and as they do so, you get to know these young people.
  • When one camera is slated, someone puts their hand over the lens of the other camera to block the view of the other camera's slate.
  • Slate every shot, even if you are going direct into the camera.

Origin

Middle English sclate, sklate, shortening of Old French esclate, feminine, synonymous with esclat 'piece broken off' (see slat). sense 3 of the verb of the verb arose from the practice of noting a name on a writing slate.

More
  • This is from the Old French esclat ‘a piece broken off’. Slat (Late Middle English) is a variant which meant ‘roofing slate’ until it developed the current sense in the mid 18th century. Schoolchildren formerly used flat pieces of slate for writing on in chalk, and shops and bars used the same materials for keeping a record of what a customer owed. This is the origin of the expression on the slate, ‘to be paid for later, on credit’. The related French esclice ‘splinter’ gives us slice (Middle English) and their common Germanic source also gives us slit (Old English). In the sense ‘to criticize’, dating from the mid 19th century, slate is probably a different word. It might derive from the slightly earlier Irish sense ‘to beat, beat up’ and be related to a Scots use of slate meaning ‘to set a dog on’, which is from Old Norse.

Phrases

wipe the slate clean

1
see wipe.

Derivatives

slaty

1
adjective
Example sentences
  • Beyond the strip of level ground there is a ‘short steep preparatory slope’ (a one-in-three incline, as we later learn), slaty and with only the sparsest vegetation.
  • Others have ‘purple ‘flowers, ranging from deep, slaty purple to pinkish purple; some with lines or spots of a darker color.’
  • Plumage color of homozygous birds varies from slaty blue to beige depending on the relative abundance of eumelanin and pheomelanin in the feathers.

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