slate

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Related to slates: Slaters

keep (one's) slate clean

To maintain an impeccable record; to refrain from committing any mistakes or wrongdoings. If Jeremy can keep his slate clean from now until his next hearing, they might be willing to release him from prison on parole. I know my time in rehab will work against me in the election, but I've kept my slate clean since then.
See also: clean, keep, slate

start over with a clean slate

To start (something) again with a fresh beginning, especially unencumbered by mistakes or regrets from the past. After that fiasco in Texas, I'm looking forward to starting over with a clean slate in Oregon. Things got so screwed up with the project that we had to scrap it about halfway through and start over again with a clean slate.
See also: clean, over, slate, start

wipe (one's) slate clean

To erase the record of one's wrong-doings, likened to wiping the contents off of a piece of slate, formerly used as a reusable writing surface. I had been late a bunch of times, but after he heard that I'd been struggling so much at home, my boss said he would wipe my slate clean. Mom said she would wipe your slate clean if you pay for the vase you broke.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

clean slate

An opportunity to start fresh despite past mistakes or problems. I know we've had our differences, but I'd like to repair our friendship. Can we start over with a clean slate? I really appreciate you giving me a clean slate after I failed that first test.
See also: clean, slate

start (off) with a clean slate

To start (something) again with a fresh beginning, especially unencumbered by mistakes or regrets from the past. After that fiasco in Texas, I'm looking forward to starting off with a clean slate in Oregon. I know things have not been great between us, but I'm willing to forget what happened and start with a clean slate.
See also: clean, slate, start

slate someone or something for something

to schedule someone or something for some thing or a particular time. They slated me for a trip to Columbia, Missouri, in August. Wally slated the meeting room for his presentation.
See also: slate

*slated for something

scheduled for something. (As if a schedule had been written on a slate. *Typically: be ~; have someone ~.) John was slated for Friday's game, but he couldn't play with the team. Ann is slated for promotion next year.
See also: slate

slated to do something scheduled to do something

. (*Typically: be ~; have someone ~.) Mary is slated to go to Washington in the fall. We are slated to leave in November.
See also: schedule, slate

start (off) with a clean slate

 and start (over) with a clean slate
Fig. to start out again afresh; to ignore the past and start over again. I plowed under all last year's flowers so I could start with a clean slate next spring. If I start off with a clean slate, then I'll know exactly what each plant is. When Bob got out of jail, he started over with a clean slate.
See also: clean, slate, start

wipe someone's slate clean and wipe the slate clean

Fig. to get rid of or erase someone's (bad) record. (As if erasing information recorded on a slate.) I'd like to wipe my slate clean and start all over again. Bob did badly in high school, but he wiped his slate clean and did a good job in college.
See also: and, clean, slate, wipe

clean slate

A fresh start; another chance after wiping out old offenses or debts. This idiom often appears as wipe the slate clean. For example, Henry's boss assured him that the matter was finished and he could start with a clean slate , or He wished he could wipe the slate clean, but it was too late to salvage the relationship. This expression alludes to the slate boards on which school work or tavern bills were recorded in easily wiped-off chalk. Since 1850 or so the term has been used figuratively, and it has long outlived the practice of writing on slate.
See also: clean, slate

slated for, be

Be planned or scheduled, as in The history test is slated for Thursday, or He's slated for a second round of auditions. [Late 1800s]
See also: slate

wipe the slate clean

see under clean slate.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

on the slate

BRITISH, OLD-FASHIONED
If you buy something on the slate, you have it now but promise to pay for it later. Note: In the past, people used pieces of a dark grey stone called `slate' for writing on, for example in schools, shops, and pubs. Shopkeepers and pub owners would write customers' debts on their slates, and wipe them clean when the debts were paid. If a man was unemployed at the time, some kindly shopkeepers would put it `on the slate' until the next payment came.
See also: on, slate

wipe the slate clean

COMMON
1. If you wipe the slate clean, you get rid of an existing system so that you can replace it with a new one. Note: In the past, people used pieces of a dark grey stone called `slate' for writing on, for example in schools, shops, and pubs. Shopkeepers and pub owners would write customers' debts on their slates, and wipe them clean when the debts were paid. The chief executive said: `What we have done is wipe the slate clean and start again with this complete rethink'. There's a strong desire to wipe the slate clean and call for early elections. Note: You can also say that you are starting something with a clean slate. The new chief executive has clearly decided to start with a clean slate as he takes on one of the toughest jobs in British retailing.
2. If you wipe the slate clean, you stop owing money to someone, after paying back all your debts or agreeing with someone that they will ignore a debt. Note: In the past, people used pieces of a dark grey stone called `slate' for writing on, for example in schools, shops, and pubs. Shopkeepers and pub owners would write customers' debts on their slates, and wipe them clean when the debts were paid. When his campaign ended he owed $4 million; after 12 weeks of hard work he was able to wipe the slate clean. Note: When you begin something without owing any money, you can say that you start with a clean slate. The proposal is to pay everything you owe, so that you can start with a clean slate. Before accepting the job he tried to persuade the government to wipe out the deficit and allow him to start with a clean slate.
3. If you wipe the slate clean, you start your life again, living in a completely new and better way, after a period of being punished for something wrong that you have done. Note: In the past, people used pieces of a dark grey stone called `slate' for writing on, for example in schools, shops, and pubs. Shopkeepers and pub owners would write customers' debts on their slates, and wipe them clean when the debts were paid. Serving a prison sentence makes some people believe they have wiped the slate clean and that they can start afresh. Note: You can also say someone starts with a clean slate. I had hoped that when he came back he would stop taking drugs and start with a clean slate.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

on the (or your) slate

to be paid for later; on credit. British
Shops and bars formerly kept a record of what a customer owed by chalking it on a tablet made of slate.
See also: on, slate

wipe the slate clean

forgive or forget past faults or offences; make a fresh start.
In former times, shopkeepers and pub landlords would keep a record of what was owing to them by writing the details on a tablet of slate; a clean slate was one on which no debts were recorded.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

a clean ˈsheet/ˈslate

a record of your work or actions that does not show any mistakes or bad things that you have done: At the new school, you will start with a clean slate.They kept a clean sheet in the match (= no goals were scored against them).
See also: clean, sheet, slate

(put something) on the ˈslate

(informal) (put something) on your account in a shop, a bar, etc. to be paid for later: Can I put this on the slate?
A slate is a thin sheet of a type of dark grey stone that was used in the past to write on.
See also: on, slate

wipe the slate ˈclean

agree to forget about past mistakes or arguments and start again with a relationship: We’re both to blame. Let’s wipe the slate clean and start again.In the past, people wrote on a slate with chalk (= a soft white stone). If you wiped it, you rubbed off the marks written on it.
See also: clean, slate, wipe

slate for

v.
1. To schedule or designate someone or something to take place at some time: Our professor has slated the history lecture for Thursday afternoon.
2. To arrange for something to be or to undergo something: The contractor has slated the building for destruction. This boss has slated me for a promotion.
See also: slate
References in classic literature ?
When school went out Anne marched to her desk, ostentatiously took out everything therein, books and writing tablet, pen and ink, testament and arithmetic, and piled them neatly on her cracked slate.
and led her to the recitation platform, and made her stand there half and hour, holding the slate so everyone could see.
exclaimed the stranger; 'it is our nature to desire a monument, be it slate or marble, or a pillar of granite, or a glorious memory in the universal heart of man.
Since his appointment to the office of sheriff and his consequent absences from home, he had employed Benjamin to make memoranda on a slate, of whatever might be thought worth remembering, which, on his return, were regularly transferred to the journal with proper notations of the time, manner, and other little particulars.
Jones had drunk a glass of toddy, he brought forth from its secret place his proper journal, and, seating himself by the table, he prepared to transfer the contents of the slate to the paper, at the same time that he appeased his curiosity.
The little old woman took the slate from her nose, and having read the words on it, asked, "Is your name Dorothy, my dear?
So inexpressively that they cannot at first understand him; it is his old housekeeper who makes out what he wants and brings in a slate.
On their looking at one another, not knowing what to say, he takes the slate once more and writes "My Lady.
It is entirely devoid of hair and is of a dark slate colour and exceedingly smooth and glossy.
I've loved you ever since that day you broke your slate over my head in school.
And while Cecily sat thus, diligently working a fraction sum on her slate, that base Cyrus asked permission to go out, having previously borrowed a pair of scissors from one of the big girls who did fancy work at the noon recess.
A slate and pencil hung at her side, which she used for making such replies as were not to be expressed by a gesture or by a motion of the head.
Hester Dethridge wrote slowly on the slate, in singularly firm upright characters for a woman in her position of life, these words:
The harbour consists of a fine piece of water half surrounded by low rounded mountains of clay- slate, which are covered to the water's edge by one dense gloomy forest.
After a little more trouble we gained the peat, and then the bare slate rock.