\ 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 better-than-usual plate appearances were backed up by a solid pitching performance, especially from five relievers out of the bullpen, in the Tigers' 4-2 victory over the Blue Jays in the second of four games at Rogers Centre. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 30 July 2022 Then there was the two-out, two-run homer to Aguilar in the third inning, leaving a cutter over the plate in a 2-0 count. Bobby Nightengale, The Enquirer, 28 July 2022 The catcher made his major-league debut at 23 years old last year, with three homers and a .510 OPS over 98 plate appearances, but now he's sidelined with a knee injury suffered in rehab from a right oblique strain. Jr Radcliffe, Journal Sentinel, 27 July 2022 Moments later, Turner also took advantage of a full-count sinker over the plate, lining a solo blast to left-center for his 15th home run of the year. Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times, 23 July 2022 Pilkington, pitching in his fourth straight doubleheader, opened the inning with two quick outs before walking Anderson for the second time in as many plate appearances. Paul Hoynes, cleveland, 23 July 2022 Last season for Pittsburgh, his 70 games and 231 plate appearances were career highs. Matthew Roberson, Hartford Courant, 23 July 2022 Ohtani reached base in both of his plate appearances during the AL’s 3-2 win after drawing a walk in the third inning. Joe Reedy, Orlando Sentinel, 19 July 2022 Entering Friday, the Cubs lead the National League and rank second in the majors with 953 plate appearances with runners in scoring position. Meghan Montemurro, Chicago Tribune, 15 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb First baseman Drew McKenna followed with an RBI single to plate Roethlisberger. Matt Goul, cleveland, 2 June 2022 Grossman struck out, but Harold Castro provided a one-out single to plate Ramos — trimming the deficit to one run. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, 23 May 2021 To serve, place on platter or plate and have a basket of crackers, bread, etc., alongside. Rita Nader Heikenfeld, The Enquirer, 24 June 2022 Trace a 9-inch round cake pan or plate on a large piece of parchment paper. Robin Miller, The Arizona Republic, 17 June 2022 Other community members put together car washes and plate sales to help raise money for families. Ryan W. Miller, USA TODAY, 31 May 2022 The pièce de résistance lies beyond the butterfly panels, which bisect to reveal two jewelry case–like displays of beverage accoutrements on the left, and plate/silverware service on the right. Basem Wasef, Robb Report, 23 May 2022 Murphy pointed to the first and second innings of Sunday’s game when Alabama had runners on second and third innings but couldn’t plate anyone. Michael Casagrande |, al, 11 May 2022 The young chefs had to prepare, cook, plate and serve their three-course meals in 80 minutes, without electricity. Susan Dunne,, 3 Mar. 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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Last Updated

1 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 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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