Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Any of various medium-grained to coarse-grained metamorphic rocks composed of laminated, often flaky parallel layers of chiefly micaceous minerals.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Any crystalline rock having a foliated structure and hence admitting of ready division into slabs or slates.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Any crystalline rock having a foliated structure (see foliation) and hence admitting of ready division into slabs or slates. The common kinds are mica schist, and hornblendic schist, consisting chiefly of quartz with mica or hornblende and often feldspar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A rock the constituent minerals of which have assumed a position in more or less closely parallel layers or folia, due not to deposition as a sediment, but—in large part, at least—to metamorphic action, which has caused a rearrangement or imperfect crystallization of the component minerals, or the formation of new ones, these. in the course of the process, having assumed the parallel arrangement characteristic of the rock.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. any metamorphic rock that can be split into thin layers

Etymologies

French schiste, from Latin (lapis) schistos, fissile (stone), a kind of iron ore, from Greek skhistos, split, divisible, from skhizein, to split; see skei- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From L schistos lapis, "the stone that is easy to split", from Greek skhizein, "to split". (Wiktionary)

Examples

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  • (n): a medium grade of metamorphic rock characterized by a preponderance of lamellar minerals such as micas, chlorite, talc, horneblende, graphite, and others.

    By definition, shist contains more than 50% lamellar, platy, or elongated minerals, commonly interleaved with quartz and feldspar crystals. Garnet is a common mineral crystal present in schistose rocks.

    January 2, 2009