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noun \ˈplāt\

Simple Definition of plate

  • : a flat and usually round dish that is used for eating or serving food

  • : the food that is served on a plate

  • : a thin, flat piece of metal

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of plate

  1. 1 a :  a smooth flat thin piece of material b (1) :  forged, rolled, or cast metal in sheets usually thicker than 14 inch (6 millimeters) (2) :  a very thin layer of metal deposited on a surface of base metal by plating c :  one of the broad metal pieces used in armor; also :  armor of such plates d (1) :  a thin relatively flat anatomical part (as a lamina of bone) of an animal body; especially :  scute (2) :  the thin under portion of the forequarter of beef; especially :  the fatty back part — see beef illustration e :  home plate f :  any of the large movable segments into which the earth's lithosphere is divided according to the theory of plate tectonics

  2. 2 [Middle English; partly from Anglo-French plate plate, bullion; partly from Old Spanish plata silver, from Vulgar Latin *platta metal plate, from feminine of plattus flat] a obsolete :  a silver coin b :  precious metal; especially :  silver bullion

  3. 3 [Middle English, from Anglo-French plat, plate dish, plate, from plat flat] a :  domestic hollowware made of or plated with gold, silver, or base metals b :  a shallow usually circular vessel from which food is eaten or served c (1) :  a quantity to fill a plate :  plateful (2) :  a main course served on a plate (3) :  food and service supplied to one person <a dinner at $10 a plate> d (1) :  a prize given to the winner in a contest (2) British :  a horse race in which the contestants compete for a prize of fixed value rather than stakes e :  a dish or pouch passed during collections f :  a flat glass or plastic dish used chiefly for culturing microorganisms

  4. 4 a :  a prepared surface from which printing is done b :  a sheet of material (as glass or plastic) coated with a light-sensitive photographic emulsion c :  a metallic grid with its interstices filled with active material that forms one of the structural units of a battery d :  license plate

  5. 5 :  a horizontal structural member that provides bearing and anchorage especially for the trusses of a roof or the rafters

  6. 6 :  the part of a denture that fits to the mouth; broadly :  denture

  7. 7 :  a full-page illustration often on different paper from the text pages

  8. 8 :  a schedule of matters to deal with <have a lot on my plate now>

platelike play \-ˌlīk\ adjective
on a plate
  1. :  without having been earned :  as a gift <goals were handed to them on a plate>

Examples of plate in a sentence

  1. a plate of cheese and crackers

  2. I ate a salad and a plate of spaghetti.

  3. A shiny metal plate was screwed to the door.

  4. He had a steel plate put in his shoulder after the accident.

Origin of plate

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from plate, feminine of plat flat, from Vulgar Latin *plattus, probably from Greek platys broad, flat — more at place

First Known Use: 14th century

Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms




Simple Definition of plate

  • : to add a layer of metal to the outside of (something)

  • baseball : to cause (a run or a runner) to score

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of plate


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to cover or equip with plate: as a :  to provide with armor plate b :  to cover with an adherent layer mechanically, chemically, or electrically; also :  to deposit (as a layer) on a surface

  3. 2 :  to make a printing surface from or for

  4. 3 :  to fix or secure with a plate

  5. 4 :  to cause (as a runner) to score in baseball

  6. 5 :  to arrange (food) on a plate

14th Century

First Known Use of plate

14th century

PLATE Defined for Kids



noun \ˈplāt\

Definition of plate for Students

  1. 1 :  a shallow usually round dish

  2. 2 :  a main course of a meal <I ate a plate of spaghetti.>

  3. 3 :  a thin flat piece of material <steel plate>

  4. 4 :  home plate

  5. 5 :  a piece of metal on which something is engraved or molded <a license plate>

  6. 6 :  an illustration often covering a full page of a book

  7. 7 :  a sheet of glass coated with a chemical sensitive to light for use in a camera




Definition of plate for Students


  1. :  to cover with a thin layer of metal (as gold or silver)

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up plate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to eat gluttonously or ravenously

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