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Shoal vs Shale - What's the difference?

shoal | shale |

As nouns the difference between shoal and shale

is that shoal is a sandbank or sandbar creating a shallow while shale is a shell or husk; a cod or pod.

As verbs the difference between shoal and shale

is that shoal is to arrive at a shallow (or less deep) area while shale is to take off the shell or coat of.

As an adjective shoal

is shallow.



Etymology 1

From (etyl) schold, scholde, from (etyl) . Compare (shallow).

Alternative forms

* (l) (dialectal) * (l), (l), (l), (l), (l), (l) (Scotland) * (l), (l), (l)


(en adjective)
  • Shallow.
  • shoal water
  • * 1819 , Lord Byron, Don Juan , III.19:
  • But that part of the coast being shoal and bare, / And rough with reefs which ran out many a mile, / His port lay on the other side o' the isle.


    (en noun)
  • A sandbank or sandbar creating a shallow.
  • *
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients, chapter=1 , passage='Twas early June, the new grass was flourishing everywheres, the posies in the yard—peonies and such—in full bloom, the sun was shining, and the water of the bay was blue, with light green streaks where the shoal showed.}}
  • * Dryden
  • The god himself with ready trident stands, / And opes the deep, and spreads the moving sands, / Then heaves them off the shoals .
  • A shallow in a body of water.
  • * Mortimer
  • The depth of your pond should be six feet; and on the sides some shoals for the fish to lay their spawn.
  • * Shakespeare
  • Wolsey, that once trod the ways of glory, / And sounded all the depths and shoals of honour.
    * (sandbank) sandbar, sandbank


    (en verb)
  • To arrive at a shallow (or less deep) area.
  • To cause a shallowing; to come to a more shallow part of.
  • A ship shoals her water by advancing into that which is less deep. — Marryat.
  • To become shallow.
  • The colour of the water shows where it shoals .

    Etymology 2

    1570, presumably from (etyl) *.


    (en noun)
  • Any large number of persons or things.
  • * Francis Bacon
  • great shoals of people
  • A large number of fish (or other sea creatures) of the same species swimming together.
  • * Waller
  • Beneath, a shoal of silver fishes glides.
    * (fish) school


    (en verb)
  • To collect in a shoal; to throng.
  • The fish shoaled about the place.


    * * * English collective nouns



    (wikipedia shale)


    (en noun)
  • A shell or husk; a cod or pod.
  • * Chapman
  • the green shales of a bean
  • (geology) A fine-grained sedimentary rock of a thin, laminated, and often friable, structure.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2007, date=March 23, author=Patricia Leigh Brown, title=The Window Box Gets Some Tough Competition, work=New York Times citation
  • , passage=As on all large green roofs, the soil is not dirt exactly but a gravel-like growing medium of granulated pumice, shales , clays and other minerals.}}

    Derived terms

    * shaley * * shaly


  • To take off the shell or coat of.
  • Synonyms

    * shell


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