- a land area having a relatively level surface considerably raised above adjoining land on at least one side, and often cut by deep canyons.
- a period or state of little or no growth or decline: to reach a plateau in one's career.
- Psychology. a period of little or no apparent progress in an individual's learning, marked by an inability to increase speed, reduce number of errors, etc., and indicated by a horizontal stretch in a learning curve or graph.
- a flat stand, as for a centerpiece, sometimes extending the full length of a table.
- to reach a state or level of little or no growth or decline, especially to stop increasing or progressing; remain at a stable level of achievement; level off: After a period of uninterrupted growth, sales began to plateau.
- to cause to remain at a stable level, especially to prevent from rising or progressing: Rising inflation plateaued sales income.
Origin of plateau
Examples from the Web for plateau
In those countries the study revealed little evidence of any plateau.Americans Aren’t Getting Fat Alone
May 9, 2014
Those carbs need to be burned with cardio, or else weight loss will plateau.Dispelling the ‘Chronic Cardio’ Myth
April 23, 2014
You rise, you plateau, but at the end of the day everyone comes down.Exclusive: Congressional Ethics Probe Adds to Michele Bachmann’s Political Woes
March 25, 2013
Furthermore, until the Iranain revolution of 1979, Iranians have rarely left their plateau.Iranian Americans, Take a Lesson
July 24, 2012
The world population may plateau physically, but we are multiplying ourselves digitally and robotically.Freud Gets Automated
June 22, 2012
We drive on for a mile or two till we reach the summit of the plateau.
The drive from Mende to the plateau of Sauveterre is a curious experience.
On the Dana plateau, for example, by the expenditure of 32 hours of labour 48 cwt.Freeland
The third is found at the point called the Plateau of Hyena.
I saw, too, that plateau on the other side, of which I had heard; later I explored it.The First Violin
- a wide mainly level area of elevated land
- a relatively long period of stability; levelling offthe rising prices reached a plateau
- to remain at a stable level for a relatively long period
- a state of central Nigeria, formed in 1976 from part of Benue-Plateau State: tin mining. Capital: Jos. Pop: 3 178 712 (2006). Area: 30 913 sq km (11 936 sq miles)
Word Origin and History for plateau
1796, "elevated tract of relatively level land," from French plateau "table-land," from Old French platel (12c.) "flat piece of metal, wood, etc.," diminutive of plat "flat surface or thing," noun use of adjective plat "flat, stretched out" (12c.), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *plattus, from Greek platys "flat, wide, broad" (see plaice). Meaning "stage at which no progress is apparent" is attested from 1897, originally in psychology of learning. In reference to sexual stimulation from 1960.
1952, from plateau (n.). Related: Plateaued; plateauing.
- An elevated, comparatively level expanse of land. Plateaus make up about 45 percent of the Earth's land surface.