\ 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

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Other Words from plate


platelike \ ˈplāt-​ˌlīk How to pronounce platelike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for plate

Synonyms: Noun

lamella, lamina, scale

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Examples of plate in a Sentence


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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

After his sophomore year, Haddad decided to move back to his home state, transferred to Butler and waited for his chance to crouch behind the plate. Dana Hunsinger Benbow, Indianapolis Star, "Carmel's Radley Haddad: Rise from Brebeuf to Butler to the New York Yankees," 10 Sep. 2019 At the plate, the Missions benefited from 57 games of Keston Hiura, who entered the season as the top second-base prospect in baseball by Greg Luca,, "Up to standard? Missions learn lessons from first Triple-A season," 9 Sep. 2019 Their attempt to rally started and stopped in Sean Barber’s first half-inning behind the plate. Baltimore Sun Staff,, "Rangers score six in first, send Orioles to fourth straight loss, 9-4," 8 Sep. 2019 Jimmie Sherfy came in to face Austin Allen, who had replaced Hedges behind the plate. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Quantrill gives up eight again, as D’backs beat Padres," 2 Sep. 2019 There is no catcher or umpire; instead, pitchers aim for a 2- by-3-foot piece of metal hung behind the plate that lets out a percussive ding each time it is struck. Billy Baker,, "A New York-Boston rivalry on the (Wiffle Ball) diamond," 1 Sep. 2019 This time, instead of giving up a homer or dropping an easy fly ball or striking out at the plate with the game on the line, Charlie Brown balks in the winning run. Bruce Handy, The Atlantic, "The Peanuts Characters Aren’t Ordinary Kids," 29 Aug. 2019 But a sharp ground ball to Marshall at third base resulted in a force-out at the plate and a few pitches later, Jurdrick Profar, the youngest brother of Oakland A's infielder Jurickson Profar, was thrown out trying to score on a wild pitch. CBS News, "Louisiana beats Curacao 8-0 to win Little League World Series," 26 Aug. 2019 Ben Neuberger, who was 2 of 3 at the plate against Hawaii, took the mound against Arizona. Anchorage Daily News, "Abbott-O-Rabbit baseball team plays for the West Region championship tonight," 26 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To plate your tartare, divide the beef mixture into four equal portions. Brittany Anas, The Know, "What Colorado’s top chefs cook when they go camping," 12 Aug. 2019 Transfer peach and jalapeno to plate to cool slightly. Washington Post, "Make nicely glazed, unimpeachable peachy grilled chicken," 17 June 2019 Instead the pitch was called a ball, and the right-hander yelled something to plate umpire Pat Hoberg. Kristie Rieken,, "Justin Verlander ejected in Astros’ 15-1 rout of Rays," 27 Aug. 2019 Berrios balked for just the second time in his big league career to plate the sixth run of the game in the sixth inning, and had three more charged to his line in the frame. Jace Frederick, Twin Cities, "Twins’ Jose Berrios gives up career-worst nine runs in blowout loss to Braves," 6 Aug. 2019 Transfer to a plate, and repeat to make and plate the other pancake. Joe Yonan, The Denver Post, "When the fridge is (almost) empty, this adaptable Japanese pancake comes to the rescue," 2 July 2019 Clay Fisher struck out for the first out, but Andrew Fregia hit a single to plate Handley. Randy Mcroberts,, "Aberdeen struggles at plate, lose 2-1, to fall to 6-11," 2 July 2019 The sophomore immediately delivered a single up the middle to plate two runs and hand Hopkinton the lead back, 3-2. Karl Capen,, "Hopkinton rules D2 South baseball with a big finish," 15 June 2019 But the Rockies did get two excellent at-bats to plate two runs in the third inning, tying the game 2-2. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Rockies fall to Mets on a so-so night from starter Jon Gray," 8 June 2019

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.

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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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Statistics for plate

Last Updated

14 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plate

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

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More Definitions for plate



English Language Learners Definition of plate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a flat and usually round dish that is used for eating or serving food
: the food that is served on a plate
: a thin, flat piece of metal



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

: to add a layer of metal to the outside of (something)
baseball : to cause (a run or a runner) to score


\ 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
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

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More from Merriam-Webster on plate

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plate

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plate

Spanish Central: Translation of plate

Nglish: Translation of plate for Spanish Speakers

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

Comments on plate

What made you want to look up plate? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to spread over or through

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