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

  • n. A fine-grained metamorphic rock that splits into thin, smooth-surfaced layers.
  • n. A piece of this rock cut for use as roofing or surfacing material or as a writing surface.
  • n. A writing tablet made of a similar material.
  • n. A record of past performance or activity: start over with a clean slate.
  • n. A list of the candidates of a political party running for various offices.
  • n. A dark or bluish gray to dark bluish or dark purplish gray.
  • adj. Made of a fine-grained metamorphic rock: a slate roof.
  • adj. Of the color slate.
  • transitive v. To cover (a roof, for example) with slate.
  • transitive v. To put on a list of candidates.
  • transitive v. To schedule or designate: Our professor has slated the art history lecture for Thursday afternoon; was slated to direct the studio's next film.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A fine-grained homogeneous sedimentary rock composed of clay or volcanic ash which has been metamorphosed so that it cleaves easily into thin layers.
  • n. The bluish-grey colour of most slate.
  • n. A sheet of slate for writing on with chalk.
  • n. A tile made of slate.
  • n. A record of money owed.
  • n. A list of affiliated candidates for an election.
  • adj. Having the bluish-grey/gray colour/color of slate.
  • v. To cover with slate.
  • v. To criticise harshly.
  • v. To schedule.
  • v. To destine or strongly expect.
  • v. To punish severely.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An argillaceous rock which readily splits into thin plates; argillite; argillaceous schist.
  • n. Any rock or stone having a slaty structure.
  • n. A prepared piece of such stone.
  • n. A thin, flat piece, for roofing or covering houses, etc.
  • n. A tablet for writing upon.
  • n. An artificial material, resembling slate, and used for the above purposes.
  • n. A thin plate of any material; a flake.
  • n. A list of candidates, prepared for nomination or for election; a list of candidates, or a programme of action, devised beforehand.
  • transitive v. To cover with slate, or with a substance resembling slate
  • transitive v. To register (as on a slate and subject to revision), for an appointment.
  • transitive v. To set a dog upon; to bait; to slat. See 2d slat, 3.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To bait; set a dog loose at.
  • To haul over the coals; take to task harshly or rudely; berate; abuse; scold; hold up to ridicule; criticize severely: as, the work was slated in the reviews.
  • n. A thin, flat stone or piece of stone; a thin plate or flake. See slat, 1.
  • n. Especially A piece or plate of the stone hence called slate. (See def. 3.)
  • n. A rock the most striking characteristic of which is its fissile structure, or capability of being easily split or cleft into thin plates of nearly uniform thickness and smooth surfaces.
  • n. A preliminary list of candidates prepared by party managers for acceptance by a nominating caucus or convention: so called as being written down, as it were on a slate, and altered or erased like a school-boy's writing.
  • n. (which see, under chalk).
  • Of the color of slate; slate-colored; of a dark, slightly bluish-gray color of medium luminosity.
  • To cover with slate or plates of stone: as, to slate a roof.
  • To enter as on a slate; suggest or propose as a candidate by entering the name on the slate or ticket: as, A. B. is already slated for the mayoralty. See I., 4.
  • In tanning, to cleanse from hairs, etc., with a slater. See slater, 3.

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

  • v. cover with slate
  • n. thin layers of rock used for roofing
  • n. (formerly) a writing tablet made of slate
  • v. designate or schedule
  • n. a fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be split into thin layers
  • v. enter on a list or slate for an election
  • n. a list of candidates nominated by a political party to run for election to public offices


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

Middle English sclate, from Old French esclate, splinter, feminine of esclat; see slat.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French esclate (French éclat).


  • It's one of the few times we've heard the term slate used since Ballmer briefly showed off

    IT Channel News | Latest Information Technology News - Home

  • It seems that the term slate is being used more because Apple is rumored to be announcing the iSlate later this month.

    And He Blogs

  • The second quarter really we have the title slate to be able to do very well in the second quarter assuming that we are able to get back on track with full shelves of both rental and retail. Home Page

  • Are you seeing anything within the store to suggest that once the title slate improves you will actually benefit from that kind of a trend? Home Page

  • I have heard the term slate as many groups as possible.


  • My first few novels, including The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, are fantasy — but the next project on my slate is a YA cyberpunk novel.

    2009 July «

  • Headlining the slate is the renewal of acquaintances between No. 5 Florida and in-state rival Miami.

    Weekend Preview: SEC powers ready to roll out welcome mat

  • Your choices are very limited: Choose your clips, order them any way you want, choose to add a title slate for the beginning and/or a credit slate for the end and then choose your musical accompaniment if so desired.

    Hands-on with the Flip Video Camcorders | Sync Blog

  • Second on the slate is the remake of the classic The Seven Samurai ... unbelievably it seems to be going ahead.

    Filmstalker: June 2006 Archives

  • Drawing figures on a slate is a favorite amusement with children; and it may prove a very useful one, if pains are taken to point out errors, and induce them to make correct imitations.

    The Mother's Book


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  • A lovely sounding word.

    September 19, 2009

  • kewpid, are you inside my brain? I just posted a link to a Slate article. *weirds*

    October 22, 2008

  • An excellent source of news and current affairs.

    October 22, 2008

  • Is formerly perhaps a WeirdNet way of saying obsolete or archaic? Surely a writing slate still is a slate; it's just that nobody uses one anymore.

    October 22, 2008