\ˈplaŋk \

Definition of plank 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a heavy thick board especially : one 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) thick and at least 8 inches (20 centimeters) wide

b : an object made of a plank or planking

c : planking

d : an exercise in which a prone person balances on the toes and forearms while holding the rest of the body up and off the ground Do two to three sets of these moves two days a week: push-ups (work up to 25) to build chest, shoulder and triceps strength; plank (support your body on your forearms and toes for up to 60 seconds) to build ab and back strength …— Selene Yeager Start with basic moves like sit-ups, planks, and lunges …Oprah Magazine

2a : an article in the platform of a political party

b : a principal item of a policy or program


planked; planking; planks

Definition of plank (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover, build, or floor with planks

2 : to set down forcefully usually used with down

3 : to cook and serve on a board planked salmon planked steak

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for plank

Synonyms: Verb

flop, flump, plop, plump, plunk (or plonk)

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of plank in a Sentence


Before the convention, there was debate over the foreign policy and economic planks.


planked the carton down on the counter and left

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The home’s exterior, a curvaceous shell of vertical redwood planks, is eye-catching and novel, and its interior layout matches that intriguing preview. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Coolest homes: 10 unique modern homes featured on azcentral," 21 June 2018 Rooms were partitioned off from one another with drywall and wood planks, and the only exit was 200 feet from the farthest sleeping unit, Herrera contended in a suit filed last year. Dominic Fracassa, San Francisco Chronicle, "SF settles with owner, landlord of Outer Mission building called “death trap”," 17 May 2018 The units will have nine-foot ceilings, wood plank floors, granite countertops and side-by-side refrigerators. William Thornton,, "Dobbins Group building $43 million Louisiana development," 1 May 2018 As visitors descend downward on a slanted wooden plank floor, the slabs seemingly rise above them, suspended in the air in long corridors, evoking the image of rows of hanging brown bodies. Kim Chandler, The Seattle Times, "New lynching memorial evokes terror of victims," 23 Apr. 2018 The kitchen opens to a family room with wide plank maple floors and a fireplace with an original beehive oven. Karen A. Avitabile,, "Property of the Week: 93 Shunpike Road, Cromwell," 26 Oct. 2017 Behind the reception desk is another artistic feature: a backdrop of massive rough-hewn redwood planks strung vertically along the wall. Pamela Dittmer Mckuen,, "New Streeterville residential high-rise boasts over an acre of amenity spaces," 22 Aug. 2017 The boys were jumping on wooden planks in the building about 4:30 p.m. when one of them broke beneath Jesse. Laura J. Nelson,, "Video revealed boy's handprints deep in L.A. sewer system, leading to his rescue," 3 Apr. 2018 Jesse Hernandez had been playing with other children on wooden planks over an access portal to the sewer system during a family outing Sunday at a Los Angeles park. Amanda Lee Myers,, "Rescuers find teen 12 hours after he was washed away in a 'maze' of drainage pipes in California," 2 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

When Aurora native and fitness instructor George Hood got off his platform after breaking two world records for planking Thursday, he was actually relieved to feel pain from head to toe. Jessie Spangler, Aurora Beacon-News, "A fitness instructor from Aurora has set 2 world records for planking," 30 June 2018 But Straus’ presence was evident through Patrick’s speech, and debates over party rules and platform planks that tied back to the speaker. Jasper Scherer, San Antonio Express-News, "Straus’ presence felt at convention despite his absence," 16 June 2018 The other partner broad jumps over the planking partner, turns around and broad jumps back over. Kalyn Kahler,, "How to Workout Like the New England Patriots Cheerleaders," 19 Jan. 2018 While only bits of the hull, keel and planking remain, researchers uncovered ceramics from Cyprus, Syria and southern Italy, as well as iron nails and ship artifacts like anchors. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Crusader Shipwreck, Likely From the Siege of Acre, Discovered," 21 Mar. 2017 Just look in the living room with Old English wood planked floors. Janet Eastman,, "Suave Sundeleaf-designed estate listed at $2.15 million (photos)," 15 Oct. 2017 The wrong logo was printed on a huge banner that was hung prominently above Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua, who was sitting on a red carpet and planked by Lorenzana and the Philippine military chief of staff. Washington Post, "Philippines apologizes to China over wrong Taiwan logo," 9 Oct. 2017 The six floors—many wood planked like a ship’s deck—are chockablock with well-upholstered conference rooms and pullout spaces. WSJ, "Campus of the Future," 16 Sep. 2017 Baby B kicked incessantly, rolled and curled himself into tight balls, pressed his feet into my ribcage and planked across the arc of my uterus. Tanika Davis,, "Navigating the deep end of tricky twin milestones," 24 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plank.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of plank


13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for plank


Middle English, from Anglo-French plaunke, planche, from Latin planca

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plank

Statistics for plank

Last Updated

13 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plank

The first known use of plank was in the 13th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plank



English Language Learners Definition of plank

: a long, thick board that is used especially in building something

: one of the official beliefs and goals of an organization (such as a political party)


\ˈplaŋk \

Kids Definition of plank

: a heavy thick board

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on plank

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


to reject or criticize sharply

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!