plateau

noun
pla·teau | \ pla-ˈtō , ˈpla-ˌtō \
plural plateaus also plateaux\pla-ˈtōz, ˈpla-ˌtōz \

Definition of plateau 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a usually extensive land area having a relatively level surface raised sharply above adjacent land on at least one side : tableland

b : a similar undersea feature

2a : a region of little or no change in a graphic representation

b : a relatively stable level, period, or condition

3 : a level of attainment or achievement the 500-point plateau

plateau

verb
plateaued; plateauing; plateaus

Definition of plateau (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to reach a level, period, or condition of stability or maximum attainment

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Synonyms for plateau

Synonyms: Noun

mesa, table, tableland

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Examples of plateau in a Sentence

Noun

a plateau covering hundreds of miles The price of gas seems to have reached a plateau.

Verb

Sales of computers have plateaued in recent years.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The closest airport, in Kangding, is an 11-hour drive away, along roads that pass through the mountains that rise to the Tibetan plateau. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, "A Dance for Tibetan New Year, Then 17 Hours in Custody," 18 Feb. 2018 In a January interview with GQ, ASAP Ferg talked about hip-hop’s emergence as pop’s lingua franca and the genre’s musical plateau. Leor Galil, Chicago Reader, "ASAP Ferg shows he’s the real boss in ASAP Mob," 5 July 2018 My goal is not to get to training camp and plateau. Indianapolis Star, "Andrew Luck is throwing. Oddsmakers and analysts aren't buying it.," 28 June 2018 The plateau may occur because frailer people gradually die off, leaving only the toughest alive. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Once you hit this age, aging appears to stop," 28 June 2018 On a cool morning in mid-June last year, skiers gathered at a parking pullout on top of the plateau near the Wyoming state line. John Nelson, latimes.com, "Beartooth Highway is fearsome fun, whether you're driving it or skiing it," 18 May 2018 Barring that, the one in which J.J. Watt returns from his tibial plateau fracture. Cindy Boren, chicagotribune.com, "NFL schedule 2018: Games to watch for every team," 19 Apr. 2018 The number of power outages across the region has seemed to plateau in the 450 to 500 thousand range. Jason Samenow, Washington Post, "Dangerous, long duration wind storm rakes Washington region with 60 to 70 mph gusts," 2 Mar. 2018 Texans – Deshaun Watson, QB Despite a horrific and unusual lateral tibial plateau fracture to a former Defensive Player of the Year, Watson is the No. 1 medical issue over J.J. Watt. Profootballdoc, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Top offseason medical issues for every AFC team," 1 Mar. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The United States’ record production has plateaued for now, in part because of pipeline bottlenecks in West Texas’ booming Permian Basin. Rye Druzin, San Antonio Express-News, "U.S. rig count up by 5," 6 July 2018 The United States' record production has plateaued for now, in part because of pipeline bottlenecks in West Texas' booming Permian Basin. Jordan Blum, Houston Chronicle, "U.S. crude stocks unexpectedly rise," 5 July 2018 Formed after Thee Midniters plateaued as a band, God's Children was born out of Garcia's alienation with the music business. Randall Roberts, latimes.com, "With a new reissue, 1970's Chicano rock band God's Children brings Thee Midniters' history back into focus," 15 May 2018 Geely sales were lukewarm in China until very recently, plateauing at 500,000 cars a year or less. William Boston, WSJ, "How China’s Geely Turned a Disassembled Mercedes Into a Global Car Company," 4 Mar. 2018 Meanwhile, evenings spent with friends have basically plateaued, or even fallen. Lyman Stone, Vox, "The myth of the job-hopping, rootless millennial is just that — a myth," 11 July 2018 The 2016 paper in Nature found that the maximum reported age of death increased until the mid-1990s, then plateaued. Meghana Keshavan, STAT, "The age plateau: New study suggests, at certain age, risk of death no longer increases," 28 June 2018 Morningstar’s Hottovy thinks that the market for new members may be plateauing, and that Amazon is now focused on increasing what current Prime users spend rather than recruiting new ones. Beth Kowitt, Fortune, "How Amazon Is Using Whole Foods in a Bid for Total Retail Domination," 21 May 2018 After plateauing over the last two months of 2017, the index has been inching up steadily this year and stands at a record high of 51.35 on a 100-point scale. Tory Newmyer, Washington Post, "The Finance 202: Mueller Risk Index gauges danger to markets of the Trump-linked Russia probe," 28 Feb. 2018

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

Noun

1743, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for plateau

Noun

French, from Middle French, platter, from plat flat

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Statistics for plateau

Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plateau

The first known use of plateau was in 1743

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More Definitions for plateau

plateau

noun

English Language Learners Definition of plateau

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a large flat area of land that is higher than other areas of land that surround it

: a period when something does not increase or advance any further

plateau

verb

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

: to stop growing or increasing : to reach a plateau

plateau

noun
pla·teau | \ pla-ˈtō \
plural plateaus or plateaux\-ˈtōz \

Kids Definition of plateau

: a broad flat area of high land

plateau

noun
pla·teau | \ pla-ˈtō, ˈpla-ˌ \
plural plateaus also plateaux\-ˈtōz, -ˌtōz \

Medical Definition of plateau 

: a relatively flat elevated area — see tibial plateau

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Comments on plateau

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