\ 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 plate (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 Bobby Dalbec led off the bottom of the fifth with a single, bringing Kiké Hernández to the plate, who negotiated a walk., "Xander Bogaerts, J.D. Martinez lead Red Sox past Mariners," 23 Apr. 2021 The Hawks had a two-out base runner in the fifth and runners on the corners in the sixth with two away, but no more Hawks crossed the plate. Randy Mcroberts,, "Patterson Mill, C. Milton Wright baseball teams get wins over previously unbeatens," 23 Apr. 2021 Stir in lemon juice and transfer shrimp to a plate to cool. Kitty Greenwald, WSJ, "Spicy Shrimp Recipe: A Peel-and-Eat Party in 25 Minutes," 23 Apr. 2021 Despite these numerous problems on Modi's plate, his Hindu nationalist policies and agenda won him loyal followers as tensions rose between Hindus and Muslims in the country. Jessie Yeung, CNN, "As bodies pile up, India's leaders face rising public anger over second Covid-19 wave," 23 Apr. 2021 Baddoo, 22, snapped an 0-for-15 streak at the plate, a product of pitchers making adjustments to him after the storybook start to his career. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers' Spencer Turnbull turns it up in return for 5-2 win in Game 2 vs. Pirates," 22 Apr. 2021 But that’s far from the only issue on Hogle’s plate. Zachary Lewis, cleveland, "Cleveland Institute of Music eyes transformation at start of its second century," 22 Apr. 2021 Information from the sedan’s license plate showed the plate had been stolen from a car parked in Markham that belonged to a Chicago resident, the chief said. Mike Nolan,, "Tinley Park couple escape injury after being fired at by possible semi-automatic rifle," 22 Apr. 2021 Scientists found that a portion of the CO2 that goes down with the descending plate is turned into rock and never reaches the deep mantle or the atmosphere. Raleigh Mcelvery, Science | AAAS, "Microbes are siphoning massive amounts of carbon from Earth’s tectonic plates," 22 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Bassett gave up a pair of singles to start the game, but Bullitt East (9-4) couldn’t plate runs. Phillip Steinmetz, The Courier-Journal, "DeSales baseball wins fourth in a row, knocks off rival Bullitt East 3-1," 23 Apr. 2021 Ellis, who pitched for Berlin, balked to plate Pelletier to make it 5-0, and Jack McManus drove in a sixth run with a sacrifice fly. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Southington baseball has just one player with varsity experience, but championship aspirations remain same," 14 Apr. 2021 Add garlic and cook until just starting to turn golden brown, then add peas, mushrooms, asparagus, and beans, season with ¼ tsp salt, and cook, tossing, 2 minutes; transfer to plate to cool. Chris Williams, Woman's Day, "Green Bean and Asparagus Casserole," 20 Jan. 2021 To plate individually: In a wide, shallow bowl, place 1 egg on a piece of fried bread and add another piece on the side, and ladle the sauce on top. Bill Buford, The New Yorker, "A Very French Way to Poach an Egg," 8 Apr. 2021 Tech had multiple opportunities to tighten a 6-2 gap in the middle innings but was unable to plate runs, leaving nine on base in the contest. Dallas News, "How Texas’ collegiate baseball teams fared this week: TCU, DBU remain undefeated in conference play," 5 Apr. 2021 In the top of the third, Cooley singled on a line drive to right field to plate Leatherwood for a 3-2 lead. Kyle J. Andrews,, "Mount Saint Joseph baseball roars past John Carroll for 14-2 victory," 1 Apr. 2021 Stir together and then plate and top with the remainder of the chives. New York Times, "From Zac Posen, a Rich and Briny Pasta for Spring," 30 Mar. 2021 Not the Mauricio Dubón who swings at anything close but the Mauricio Dubón who extends plate appearances and gets on base far more. John Shea, San Francisco Chronicle, "Giants' outfield decisions center around Mauricio Dubón, who has new hitting approach," 16 Mar. 2021

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

27 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for plate



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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