Oil-shale definition

A black or dark brown shale containing hydrocarbons that yield petroleum by distillation.
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Shale containing hydrocarbons which can be extracted, esp. by distillation.
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A fine-grained black or dark brown shale containing hydrocarbons in the form of kerogen. When heated, oil shale yields petroleum or natural gas.
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A sedimentary rock containing kerogen from which petroleum-like shale oil can be produced by pyrolysis, hydrogenation, or thermal dissolution.
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Other Word Forms

Noun

Singular:
oil-shale
Plural:
oil shales