\ 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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The ship’s nose dipped even further, the starboard engine now sputtering, a loose cover plate revealing a dangerous red glow from beneath. Scott Gleeson, USA TODAY, 19 May 2022 Modern body armor is frequently sold in multiple parts — the vest, sometimes referred to as a plate carrier, and the plates that fit into it. Neal Rubin, Detroit Free Press, 19 May 2022 There are few more satisfying feats than adding a new plate to the bar and crushing a rep. Brett Williams, Men's Health, 19 May 2022 Transfer the salmon to a large plate and let rest for 5 minutes. Ellie Krieger, Washington Post, 19 May 2022 The vehicle is an older model BMW with a temporary plate and missing hood and passenger side headlights. Joanna Jacobo Rivera, The Arizona Republic, 18 May 2022 Press remaining crumb mixture onto bottom and sides of 9-inch pie plate. Abigail Van Buren, oregonlive, 18 May 2022 Stoneman Douglas stepped to the plate that inning trailing the Explorers, 4-2, but rallied to reach Friday’s state semifinal against Palm Beach Gardens in Fort Myers. Franco Panizo, Sun Sentinel, 18 May 2022 The movement, decorated with double Moser stripes on the plate and bridges and other finishes, can be seen through the caseback. Carol Besler, Robb Report, 18 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Amelia Streuber allowed the Lancers to plate two more runs. Alec White, The Arizona Republic, 16 May 2022 Hoover threatened once more in the fifth, but was unable to plate any runs and was sat down in order in the final two frames. Evan Dudley, al, 29 Apr. 2022 When ready to serve, remove the lid from your pot, place your serving dish or plate over top of it and carefully and quickly flip the whole thing over. Felicia Campbell, USA TODAY, 14 Apr. 2022 When ready to serve, remove the lid from your pot, place your serving dish or plate over top of it and carefully and quickly flip the whole thing over. Felicia Campbell, The Arizona Republic, 8 Apr. 2022 As the team went to plate a course, a young cook came up to Keller with stacks of dishes. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 18 Oct. 2021 After lifting Joely Rodríguez for Albert Abreu, Boone walked over to plate umpire Jeff Nelson, gestured a few times and was tossed for the sixth time this year. Larry Fleisher, ajc, 5 Sep. 2021 Brian Goodwin’s two-run homer off right-hander Manuel Rodríguez was part of a four-run inning that sent nine Sox batters to plate en route to an 8-6 win. Meghan Montemurro,, 7 Aug. 2021 Add the croutons at the end and then plate. Grate more Parmigiano Reggiano on top. Benjamin Liong Setiawan, Forbes, 1 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Statistics for plate

Last Updated

21 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for plate


\ 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


transitive verb
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

More from Merriam-Webster on plate

Nglish: Translation of plate for Spanish Speakers

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


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