slate

(redirected from slates)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to slates: Slaters
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!

be slated

informal To be sharply criticized by someone. I think Henry was just slated by the boss for that printing error in last month's issue—I could hear the yelling through the wall. The actor has been slated after making particularly insensitive remarks during the interview.
See also: slate

be slated for (something)

1. To be planned, scheduled, or organized for something to happen or take place. I was slated for a promotion and a pay raise, but downturns in the economy has put that on hold for now. Their newest album is slated for release in July.
2. To be sharply criticized (by someone) for one's words or actions. I think Henry was just slated by the boss for that printing error in last month's issue—I could hear the yelling through the wall. The actor was rightfully slated his insensitive remarks.
See also: for, slate

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

get slated

informal To be sharply criticized by someone. I think Henry just got slated by the boss for that printing error in last month's issue—I could hear the yelling through the wall. The actor is getting rightfully slated after the insensitive remarks he made during his interview.
See also: get, slate

have a clean slate

To have or start again with a fresh beginning, especially one unencumbered by mistakes, regrets, or obligations from the past. After that fiasco in Texas, I'm moving to Oregon so I can have a clean slate. Criminals who have served their time in jail are supposed to have a clean slate when they are released, but it is simply not the case. Let's get all this financial stuff finished before the end of December so that we can have a clean slate for the start of the year.
See also: clean, have, slate

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

on (one's) slate

1. Still to come; on one's future schedule. This victory should give a much-needed boost to the team's morale, as they have three more crucial games on their slate.
2. old-fashioned On one's line of credit (as opposed to being paid for upfront). A slate was formerly a stone tablet on which a customer's bill was tallied and then wiped clean once the debt was paid. Primarily heard in UK. Go around to Tom Buchanan's shop and get these fixings for supper. Tell him to just put it on my slate.
See also: on, slate

on the slate

1. Still to come; scheduled to occur. This victory should give a much-needed boost to the team's morale, as they have three more crucial games on the slate.
2. old-fashioned On credit (as opposed to being paid for upfront). A slate was formerly a stone tablet on which a customer's bill was tallied and then wiped clean once the debt was paid. Primarily heard in UK. Go around to Tom Buchanan's shop and get these fixings for supper. Tell him to just put it on the slate.
See also: on, slate

slate (someone or something) for (something)

To schedule or organize for someone or something to do something or take place at some particular time. Often used in passive constructions. You're presentation is slated for this afternoon at 3 PM. I'm slated for a meeting with the boss later.
See also: for, slate

slated

informal Sharply criticized by someone. I think Henry just got slated by the boss for that printing error in last month's issue—I could hear the yelling through the wall. The actor has been slated after making particularly insensitive remarks during the interview.
See also: slate

slated for

Scheduled or organized to happen or take place. They had me slated for a promotion and a pay raise, but downturns in the economy has put that on hold for now. Their newest album is slated for release in July.
See also: for, slate

slated to (do something)

Scheduled or organized to do or participate in something. A: "How about dinner on Saturday?" B: "Our band is slated to be in Portland for a gig that night. Maybe the week after?" The famous magician has been slated to appear in events around the country for the next six months.
See also: slate, to

start (off) with a clean slate

To start (something) again with a fresh beginning, especially unencumbered by mistakes or regrets from the past. A noun or pronoun can be used between "start" and "with" to specify what is being started again. After that fiasco in Texas, I'm looking forward to starting off with a clean slate in Oregon. I know things haven't been great between us, but I'm willing to forget what happened and start with a clean slate. Let's get all this financial stuff finished before the end of December so that we can start off the new year with a clean slate.
See also: clean, slate, start

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

wipe the slate clean

1. To forget, forgive, or erase the record of someone's transgressions or wrong-doings, starting again as if they never occurred. Likened to wiping the contents off of a piece of slate, formerly used as a reusable writing surface. I had been late to work several times, but after the boss heard that I'd been struggling so much at home, he offered to wipe the slate clean and give me a fresh chance. These companies pay huge amounts of money to wipe the slate clean after they are caught doing something immoral or illegal. I appreciate your apology. Let's just wipe the slate clean and move on with things, eh?
2. To forget, forgive, or erase the record of someone's debt. The government announced a plan to wipe the slate clean for nearly two million people who had been burdened by excessive student loans. I know you can't pay me back, so why don't you spend a couple weekends doing work on the farm and we'll wipe the slate clean.
3. To discard, dismantle, or dispose of some existing system, framework, organizational structure, etc., in order to begin using a new one. The rebels have vowed to wipe the slate clean for their war-torn country, promising to establish a new government that works on behalf of its citizens. It nearly killed me having to wipe the slate clean after two years of work, but the underlying operating system we had been developing simply wasn't working.
See also: clean, slate, wipe
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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: for, 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: for, 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, to

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

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
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

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: for, slate
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

clean slate, have a/start with a

A fresh chance after past debts or offenses have been canceled or forgiven. A nineteenth-century term, it comes from the schoolroom and tavern, where slate blackboards and chalk were used for exercises and totting up bills (see also chalk it up to). Mistakes and debts so recorded could literally be erased. It may have been a translation of the earlier Latin tabula rasa (“scraped tablet”), on which anything could be inscribed. By the second half of the nineteenth century the term was transferred to mean making any kind of fresh start. Another version of the term is to wipe the slate clean (so as to obtain a clean slate). As Rudyard Kipling wrote about The Absent-Minded Beggar (1900), “He’s out on active service, wiping something off a slate.”
See also: clean, have, start
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
See also:
References in periodicals archive ?
Shops are selling grey serving platters or table mats, leading slate firms to switch their focus to homeware instead of roofing.
APS2M SCHEME to refurbish former council houses in a Snowdonia village will see the properties roofed with Spanish slate.
But the estate lies in the shadow of the Dinorwic quarry, once the second largest slate quarry in the world and the lifeblood of the village.
But fans of the Bard have been outraged at the discovery that cutprice Spanish slate is being used to refurbish the West Dunbartonshire Council-owned landmark.
COUNCIL chiefs have been blasted for spending PS1.3m on a building to celebrate Scottish stone quarrying - then using Spanish slate for the roof.
She and others refer to the slates as "pay-to-play" operations - there is a general feeling among candidates that the endorsements are often contingent on whether the endorsers collect direct or indirect payments from the endorsees.
Made from Ffestiniog slate, the pillars are a geological slice through the mountains behind the town.
Leaflets handed out locally have sparked a big response, with one man "buying" 10 slates to carry the names of his grandchildren.
The cluttered ballot, short campaign and uninspiring campaigning, therefore, put a premium on slates endorsed by a variety of groups.
Mosul (NINA) -- Spokesman for Niniveh Fraternal Slate, Derman Khatari, said that next week is to witness a decisive meeting with Hadba' Slate, headed by Governor Atheel al-Nijaifi.
DisplaySearch expects slates to take some market share from clamshell-style netbooks (mini-note PCs), as well as lure customers that desire more functionality away from the e-reader market.
Slates vary hugely from area to area, but they're usually laid treble lapped.
Synthetic slates and shakes are manufactured primarily from polymers or rubber as well as UV inhibitors, fillers, and impact modifiers.
The couple, from Radyr, Cardiff, have adopted one of the colourful slates that make up the outside walls of the pounds 100m landmark arts centre.