One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A coarse-grained metamorphic rock which consists of layers of different minerals and can be split into thin irregular plates.
- ‘It includes a variety of rocks, such as basalt, granite, gneiss, quartzite, slate, and schist.’
- ‘Stone vases (bowls, collared jars, and pyxides) were carved, using bronze tools and abrasives, from chlorite schist and marble.’
- ‘The three mountainous areas consist of large cores of igneous rocks (granites and basalts) surrounded by larger areas of metamorphic rocks, mostly schists and gneiss.’
- ‘Glaciers have deposited shale, slate, schist, and limestone throughout the region.’
- ‘In all these occurrences, the deposits show a flyschoid and turbiditic character and include metamorphic pebbles of soft rocks, such as slates and schists, as well as plant debris.’
Late 18th century: from French schiste, via Latin from Greek skhistos ‘split’, from the base of skhizein ‘cleave’.
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