plateau

noun
pla·​teau | \ pla-ˈtō How to pronounce plateau (audio) , ˈpla-ˌtō\
plural plateaus also plateaux\ pla-​ˈtōz How to pronounce plateaux (audio) , 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

altiplano, 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

In the yard of the stone elementary school with the tile roof in Le Chambon-sur-Lignon, a town of just 2,700 people on a high plateau in south-central France, kids play and horse around like school kids everywhere. Lucian Perkins, Smithsonian, "This French Town Has Welcomed Refugees for 400 Years," 27 June 2018 The novel, Abel’s first, takes place almost entirely at a back-to-the-land summer camp in the high plateau where the desert meets the Rocky Mountains. Zoe Greenberg, New York Times, "In the Colorado Desert, a Debut Novelist Finds a Metaphor for Israel and Palestine," 25 May 2018 From an environmental perspective, the phone plateau should be something to celebrate. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Apple's in Trouble for the First Time in a Long Time, And You Already Know Why," 3 Jan. 2019 From 1955 to 1973, Monzino adventured from Senegal to the North Pole, from the Tibesti plateau in Chad to East Africa’s Mountains of the Moon. Sophy Roberts, Condé Nast Traveler, "On Your Next Trip to Nepal, Rent the House Sir Edmund Hillary Loved," 20 Dec. 2018 Judge hit the 70-homer plateau in his 231st career game, two games quicker than longtime Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard took to hit the mark. Jace Evans, USA TODAY, "Aaron Judge becomes fastest player in MLB history to 70 career home runs," 26 May 2018 Each step stirs dust on the dry path in this high desert plateau in eastern Oregon, where hundreds of thousands of American pioneers walked, changing the course of history. Terri Colby, chicagotribune.com, "Following in footsteps — or wagon ruts — of American history on Oregon Trail," 24 May 2018 But this letter is an illustration of how the rubber meets the road as the smartphone plateau transitions into the smartphone decline. Eric Limer, Popular Mechanics, "Apple's in Trouble for the First Time in a Long Time, And You Already Know Why," 3 Jan. 2019 Trails, accessible directly from Adler Lodge, are etched all over the plateau, and the property itself offers 30 rooms and chalets and suites and, most welcome of all, a full-service spa. Brigid Mander, WSJ, "5 Flat-Out Ideal Cross-Country Ski Getaways," 5 Dec. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Ditto Japan, where early progress under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has plateaued. Andrew Peaple, WSJ, "Investors in Asia Need All the Help They Can Get," 5 Dec. 2018 Because fuel-efficiency gains are plateauing, manufacturers like Boeing and Lockheed Martin are now starting to put money on a supersonic comeback. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Airbus Shows Danger of Wanting It Bigger and Faster," 14 Feb. 2019 Studies show the share of female doctors who have passed the national medical exam has plateaued at around 30 percent for more than 20 years, leading some experts to suspect that other medical schools also discriminate against women. Mari Yamaguchi, The Seattle Times, "Japan medical school confirms altering scores to limit women," 7 Aug. 2018 Values of properties owned by U.S. real-estate investment trusts have plateaued over the past 18 months, although some sectors, like industrial property, are doing better than others. Peter Grant And, WSJ, "Real-Estate IPO to Test Investor Faith in Economic Expansion," 24 July 2018 The construction of new apartment buildings looks to be on the decline, and rents -- particularly at the high end -- have plateaued. Elliot Njus, OregonLive.com, "Portland-area population growth slows to lowest level since 2013, Census Bureau says," 21 Sep. 2017 Now, that didn’t work, which is really interesting, that e-book sales have plateaued. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Why Amazon is a ‘bully,’ and Facebook and Google are ‘the enemies of independent thought’," 3 Dec. 2018 Building a brand that speaks to a changing market Design often plateaus once the platonic ideal of a product becomes established—like mobile phones have all become slight variations on slim glass rectangles. Diana Budds, Curbed, "The rise of the direct-to-consumer home," 21 Dec. 2018 After plateauing in 2017, China’s debt-to-GDP ratio jumped to 261% in early 2018 according to the Bank for International Settlements. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "The China 2025 Bugaboo," 13 Dec. 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

1 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce plateau (audio) \
plural plateaus or plateaux\ -​ˈtōz \

Kids Definition of plateau

: a broad flat area of high land

plateau

noun
pla·​teau | \ pla-ˈtō, ˈpla-ˌ How to pronounce plateau (audio) \
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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