\ 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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun There will be some A’s fan presence for the series, and Astros fans, too; the Dodgers swapped in dozens of Oakland and Houston’s cutouts behind the plate and behind the dugouts and also filled half a bleacher section with fans of each. Susan Slusser,, "A’s settling into nice new digs at Dodger Stadium; Chris Bassitt to start Game 1," 4 Oct. 2020 Field Level sections behind the plate had no seats indicating the frantic rush with which the stadium was opened. Mark Schmetzer, The Enquirer, "Rockin' the Riverfront: Big moves were nothing new to Cincinnati Reds GM Bob Howsam," 3 Oct. 2020 Molina, one of only 12 catchers in history to have 2,000 hits, will be back behind the plate again Thursday. Bob Nightengale, USA TODAY, "Dylan Carlson, Yadier Molina send message, have Cardinals on cusp of NL Division Series," 1 Oct. 2020 Behind the plate, catcher Austin Romine had negative-4 defensive runs saved above average. Evan Petzold, Detroit Free Press, "2020 Detroit Tigers grades: Young bats, solid defense not enough to overpower bad pitching," 30 Sep. 2020 When the team was playing well early in the season, both got plenty of credit for their work at and behind the plate. Jon Meoli,, "Orioles reset: Shortened 2020 season can’t be considered more than a qualified success," 28 Sep. 2020 But over all, what many observers have heard this week is a China stepping up to the leadership plate, and America pulling back. Howard Lafranchi, The Christian Science Monitor, "At UN assembly quieted by a pandemic, the US-China clash is loud," 25 Sep. 2020 Cole's surge coincided with the Yankees moving Kyle Higashioka behind the plate for his last four starts. Mike Haim, Star Tribune, "Cole has sharp playoff prep as Yankees rout Blue Jays 12-1," 22 Sep. 2020 One area where Huff must continue to work is his game-calling and presence behind the plate. Evan Grant, Dallas News, "The best is yet to come? Rangers' young roster additions look hungry, not overwhelmed," 12 Sep. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb To plate, cut Petit Basque in wedges and Gouda in rectangular slices and arrange on a board or platter. Seija Rankin,, "See an exclusive excerpt from the new official Friends cookbook," 22 Sep. 2020 So Patricio began experimenting in his dorm room, advertising musubi and plate lunch specials to other homesick Hawaiians on social media. Michael Russell, oregonlive, "Hawaiian food cart Grind Wit Tryz is a pandemic-time blockbuster in Northeast Portland," 27 Aug. 2020 The field of play — even the batter’s box — should be fairly safe, except perhaps for the catcher and plate umpire. Jake Seiner, The Denver Post, "Play ball? Experts send mixed signals on MLB 60-game season," 18 July 2020 Remove to plate, top with avocado cubes, chimichurri, and serve. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Veggies galore: The joy of meatless meals," 23 June 2020 Suspect vehicle is a Silver 2004 Ford Explorer, plate no. James Burky, The Denver Post, "Woman charged, victim in critical condition after hit and run in Denver," 10 Jan. 2020 Let sit in covered grill for several minutes to warm, then transfer to plate. Beth Segal, cleveland, "Veggies galore: The joy of meatless meals," 23 June 2020 Its handle, however, was unwieldy and uncomfortable to hold while transferring food from pan to plate. Kate Bratskeir, CNN Underscored, "The best nonstick pans of 2020," 23 June 2020 The suspension is a Byzantine hybrid of control arms attached to tubular and plate steel subframes, with all four corners sitting on air springs assisted by adaptive dampers that can be set in Comfort, Normal, and Sport modes. Dan Neil, Car and Driver, "Tested: 2003 Porsche Cayenne Turbo Takes Fast SUVs to New Heights," 2 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for plate

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for plate

Last Updated

11 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plate.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for plate


How to pronounce plate (audio)

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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