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


plateaued; plateauing; plateaus

Definition of plateau (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

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

Synonyms for plateau

Synonyms: Noun

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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.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun As the federal reserve continues to raise interest rates, the impact of inflation will plateau and decrease. Baltimore Sun, 17 May 2022 Linking Oslo with Bergen on the country's west coast, the Bergensbanen was completed in 1909 and crosses Europe's largest high mountain plateau -- the Hardangervidda. Ben Jones, CNN, 9 May 2022 Rimml likely fell on the steep traverse between Denali Pass at 18,200 feet (5,547 meters) and the 17,200-foot plateau, a notoriously treacherous stretch of the West Buttress route, officials said. CBS News, 7 May 2022 Al-Aqsa compound sits atop the Old City plateau of East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in a 1967 war and annexed in a move that has not won international recognition. NBC News, 22 Apr. 2022 Simply put, the streaming subscriber growth curve in the U.S. is starting to plateau. Cynthia Littleton, Variety, 1 Apr. 2022 In animals, Wherry said, the benefits of waiting start to plateau after about six months, but in humans, the optimal delay isn’t known. Rachel Gutman, The Atlantic, 31 Mar. 2022 As the national average price for gas continued to plateau on Monday, the same could not be said for several cities in California, including the Bay Area, according to the American Automobile Association. Jessica Flores, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 Mar. 2022 Barakat reached the 1,000-point plateau in a Jan. 8 game against Richards. Tony Baranek,, 31 Jan. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Rising grain and corn costs eliminate some of the hope that inflation could plateau in the second half of the year. Patrick Thomas And Alistair Macdonald, WSJ, 6 Mar. 2022 Love said health experts are hopeful that cases will plateau or drop off in two to three weeks. Tom Steele, Dallas News, 24 Aug. 2021 Modeling indicates that the area’s outbreak could plateau toward the end of the month and start to abate sometime in February, Mayor Ron Nirenberg said during the daily coronavirus briefing. Lauren Caruba,, 11 Jan. 2021 But experts fear that without coordinated and sustained efforts, the country will plateau at this high level of cases. Andrew Joseph, STAT, 4 Sep. 2020 Unemployment claims filed with the Texas Workforce Commission have plateaued since peaking in April. Dallas News, 5 June 2020 Both rates have decreased since the survey began and started to plateau in recent weeks. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 1 June 2020 Despite Tuesday's grim numbers, Beshear and health commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said the rate of new virus cases continues to plateau. Jonathan Bullington, The Courier-Journal, 5 May 2020 Instead of falling, cases in Alabama have plateaued. al, 29 Apr. 2020 See More

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.

First Known Use of plateau


1743, in the meaning defined at sense 1a


1939, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for plateau


French, from Middle French, platter, from plat flat

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Time Traveler for plateau

Time Traveler

The first known use of plateau was in 1743

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Dictionary Entries Near plateau

plate armor



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Statistics for plateau

Last Updated

23 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plateau.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for plateau


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


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

More from Merriam-Webster on plateau

Nglish: Translation of plateau for Spanish Speakers

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


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