\ ˈplaŋk How to pronounce plank (audio) \

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

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Synonyms for plank

Synonyms: Verb

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

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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

On Tuesday, fire hoses snaked across the ground thick with crushed bits of charcoal, shattered glass, and charred planks of wood. Sara Jean Green, The Seattle Times, "Fire at Gascoigne Lumber on North Queen Anne was arson, Seattle fire officials say," 13 Nov. 2018 Kobach went on to advise Trump’s campaign on immigration policy and helped ensure the candidate’s proposed border wall became a plank in the national Republican platform. Bryan Lowry, kansascity, "How Kobach met Trump: Hunting buddy links Kansas Republican and president’s family," 17 June 2018 Without letting hips drop, push back up to high plank position to return to starting position. SELF, "Dumbbell Workout and AMRAP Push," 31 Dec. 2018 In a move that stunned even many congressional Republicans, the Justice Department had also asked the court to invalidate key planks of the ACA. Brent Kendall, WSJ, "Federal Judge Rules Affordable Care Act Is Unconstitutional Without Insurance-Coverage Penalty," 15 Dec. 2018 The Seattle City Council voted on Tuesday to ratify the city’s tentative contract with the Seattle Police Officers Guild, handing Mayor Jenny Durkan a hard-fought major victory on a key plank of the city’s police-reform plan. Steve Miletich, The Seattle Times, "Seattle City Council approves police-union contract; deal faces scrutiny by federal judge overseeing reforms," 13 Nov. 2018 For now, Zinke continues to deliver rollbacks on environmental rules for coal, oil, and natural gas on public lands, a key plank of the president’s agenda. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke might face a criminal investigation," 5 Nov. 2018 Putin has made bringing Russia’s media under strict Kremlin control a key plank of his rule—meaning that no mainstream media organization in Russia has ever dared to investigate the first family. Owen Matthews, Newsweek, "The Top Secret Family Life of Vladimir Putin," 19 Aug. 2014 While Sessions was the first senator to back Trump, and has been central in passing key planks of Trump’s agenda -- particularly on border enforcement and law and order -- Trump has repeatedly slammed him publicly. Adam Shaw, Fox News, "Trump rips into Jeff Sessions: 'I don't have an Attorney General'," 19 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The other half, after the first few strokes, simply gave up and planked, sinking to the bottom. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Geckos’ new superpower is running on water; now we know how they do it," 6 Dec. 2018 Sip vintages in the cavernous cedar-planked warehouse of The Austin Winery. Condé Nast Traveler, "15 Best Things To Do in Austin," 4 Mar. 2018 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

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.

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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

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Statistics for plank

Last Updated

17 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for plank

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

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More Definitions for plank



English Language Learners Definition of plank

: a long, thick board that is used especially in building something
formal : one of the official beliefs and goals of an organization (such as a political party)


\ ˈplaŋk How to pronounce plank (audio) \

Kids Definition of plank

: a heavy thick board

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More from Merriam-Webster on plank

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plank

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plank

Spanish Central: Translation of plank

Nglish: Translation of plank for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plank for Arabic Speakers

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 corrupt or become corrupted

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