\ ˈplāt How to pronounce plate (audio) \

Definition of plate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a smooth flat thin piece of material
b(1) : forged, rolled, or cast metal in sheets usually thicker than ¹/₄ 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 (such 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
f : any of the large movable segments into which the earth's lithosphere is divided according to the theory of plate tectonics
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 [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
4a : a prepared surface from which printing is done
b : a sheet of material (such 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
5 : a horizontal structural member that provides bearing and anchorage especially for the trusses of a roof or the rafters
6 : the part of a denture that fits to the mouth broadly : denture
7 : a full-page illustration often on different paper from the text pages
8 : a schedule of matters to deal with have a lot on my plate now
on a plate
: without having been earned : as a gift goals were handed to them on a plate


plated; plating

Definition of plate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to cover or equip with plate: such as
a : to provide with armor plate
b : to cover with an adherent layer mechanically, chemically, or electrically also : to deposit (something, such as a layer) on a surface
2 : to make a printing surface from or for
3 : to fix or secure with a plate
4 : to cause (a runner) to score in baseball
5 : to arrange (food) on a plate or dish

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Other Words from plate


platelike \ ˈplāt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce platelike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for plate

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of plate in a Sentence

Noun a plate of cheese and crackers I ate a salad and a plate of spaghetti. A shiny metal plate was screwed to the door. He had a steel plate put in his shoulder after the accident.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Seven Hills Building Department reported in 2019 there were 75 tall grass, 36 expired plates and eight junk vehicle complaints. John Benson, cleveland, "Seven Hills streamlines building department’s violation-writing process," 20 May 2020 Before the pandemic pushed the operation to takeout-only, shareable plates further fostered a sense of intimacy. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Recipe for an Easy Vegetable Feast," 20 May 2020 In Wood’s painting, Sisyphus is pushing not a boulder, but a plate. Ellen Mccarthy, Washington Post, "The dishes will never be done," 20 May 2020 Normal plates and bowls were replaced with plastic takeout containers. azcentral, "Arizona reopening: Everyday movement no longer limited as state moves into weekend," 16 May 2020 Perfect for summertime snacking and mindfulness meditations, the cheese plate guide book was created by Marissa Mullen, the mind behind the wildly popular Instagram accounts, @thatcheeseplate and @cheesebynumbers. Olivia Harrison,, "Want To Achieve That Viral Instagram Cheeseboard Look? This Book Will Show You How," 14 May 2020 The gentle din of conversations and the sounds of ice cubes hitting drink glasses and silverware clinking plates returned to McKinney two weeks ago, but not in all of the city’s restaurants. Jon Arnold, Dallas News, "Opening dining rooms not the right decision for all McKinney restaurants," 14 May 2020 Full Story of 2021 Tahoe The law-enforcement-grade Tahoe’s exterior designs are based on the Z71 trim level, which is visible on the front end, where a rugged front grille, higher approach angle, and front skid plate are visible. Mihir Maddireddy, Car and Driver, "2021 Chevrolet Tahoe PPV, SSV Coming Soon to a Police Department Near You," 13 May 2020 Grandmother herself was a civil air-raid warden, dashing dangerously around the countryside in an old Austin and wearing a helmet that looked like an upside-down soup plate. Perdita Buchan, The Christian Science Monitor, "Two crises, two gardens," 13 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Nationals went 1-for-21 with runners in scoring in position in those games and the only hit didn't even plate a run. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "How to watch Astros vs. Nationals: MLB live stream, schedule, TV channel, start time for World Series Game 6," 29 Oct. 2019 Bring takeout home for Anne and plate it for her on clean dishes. Author: Wayne And Wanda, Anchorage Daily News, "One roommate is still hunkered down hard, the other wants to start going out again," 3 May 2020 Add the gnocchi, toss with the butter off the heat then plate them and add a fragrant hit of fresh lemon juice to serve. Los Angeles Times, "How to Boil Water: Easy potato gnocchi," 6 Apr. 2020 Order, prep, cook, and plate those ingredients, then serve, clear, and wash those dishes. Leah Mennies, Bon Appétit, "What It’s Like to Be Undocumented and Unemployed in the Restaurant Industry Now," 16 Apr. 2020 Price: Starting at $6.99 per serving Pitch: Effortlessly create and plate your meals in no time. oregonlive, "Hungry? Want to eat healthy? These tasty meals can be delivered to your door during the coronavirus," 25 Mar. 2020 Using a slotted spoon, transfer chicken to plate with pork and set aside., "Recipe: Mole with Chicken, Pork and Pineapple (Manchamanteles de Cerdo y Pollo)," 2 Oct. 2019 Both restaurants plate ample servings for affordable prices: Nothing is more than $20. Dahlia Ghabour, The Courier-Journal, "Breakfast plus Tex-Mex: Two restaurant concepts launch in one kitchen at this new spot," 25 Feb. 2020 From knock-over targets, to hanging steel, to plate racks, steel targets give shooters a lot of bang for their buck. The Editors, Field & Stream, "Three Great Gifts for Target Shooters," 21 Nov. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plate.' 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 plate


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for 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

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Time Traveler for plate

Time Traveler

The first known use of plate was in the 14th century

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Statistics for plate

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for plate


How to pronounce plate (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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



English Language Learners Definition of plate (Entry 2 of 2)

: to add a layer of metal to the outside of (something)
baseball : to cause (a run or a runner) to score


\ ˈplāt How to pronounce plate (audio) \

Kids Definition of plate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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


plated; plating

Kids Definition of plate (Entry 2 of 2)

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


\ ˈplāt How to pronounce plate (audio) \

Medical Definition of plate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a thin relatively flat piece or lamina (as of bone) that is part of the body
2a : a flat glass dish used chiefly for culturing microorganisms especially : petri dish
b : a culture or culture medium contained in such a dish
3 : a supporting or reinforcing element: as
a : the part of a denture that fits in the mouth broadly : denture
b : a thin flat narrow piece of metal (as stainless steel) that is used to repair a bone defect or fracture
plated; plating

Medical Definition of plate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to inoculate and culture (microorganisms or cells) on a plate also : to distribute (an inoculum) on a plate or plates for cultivation
2 : to repair (as a fractured bone) with metal plates

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More from Merriam-Webster on plate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plate

Spanish Central: Translation of plate

Nglish: Translation of plate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plate for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about plate

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