noun \ˈplāt\

: 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

Full Definition of PLATE

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
[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
[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
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
:  a horizontal structural member that provides bearing and anchorage especially for the trusses of a roof or the rafters
:  the part of a denture that fits to the mouth; broadly :  denture
:  a full-page illustration often on different paper from the text pages
:  a schedule of matters to deal with <have a lot on my plate now>
plate·like \-ˌlīk\ adjective
on a plate
:  without having been earned :  as a gift <goals were handed to them on a plate>

Examples of PLATE

  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

Related to PLATE

Other Metals and Metallurgy Terms

assay, bloom, bullion, ductile, ingot, malleable, patina, temper, tensile



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

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


Full Definition of PLATE

transitive verb
:  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
:  to make a printing surface from or for
:  to fix or secure with a plate
:  to cause (as a runner) to score in baseball
:  to arrange (food) on a plate

First Known Use of PLATE

14th century
PLATED Defined for Kids


noun \ˈplāt\

Definition of PLATE for Kids

:  a shallow usually round dish
:  a main course of a meal <I ate a plate of spaghetti.>
:  a thin flat piece of material <steel plate>
:  a piece of metal on which something is engraved or molded <a license plate>
:  an illustration often covering a full page of a book
:  a sheet of glass coated with a chemical sensitive to light for use in a camera



Definition of PLATE for Kids

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


Next Word in the Dictionary: plate–and–frame filterPrevious Word in the Dictionary: plat du jourAll Words Near: plate
July 06, 2015
categorical Hear it
absolute or relating to a category
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears