planks collectively, as in a floor.
the act of laying or covering with planks.

Origin of planking

First recorded in 1485–95; plank + -ing1




a long, flat piece of timber, thicker than a board.
lumber in such pieces; planking.
something to stand on or to cling to for support.
any one of the stated principles or objectives comprising the political platform of a party campaigning for election: They fought for a plank supporting a nuclear freeze.

verb (used with object)

to lay, cover, or furnish with planks.
to bake or broil and serve (steak, fish, chicken, etc.) on a wooden board.

Origin of plank

1275–1325; Middle English planke < Old North French < Latin planca board, plank. See planch
Related formsplank·less, adjectiveplank·like, adjectiveun·planked, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for planking

Contemporary Examples of planking

Historical Examples of planking

  • And he leaned his head in a baffled, tired way against the planking of the mill.

    The Underdog

    F. Hopkinson Smith

  • The wan light of early day came through the cracks in the planking.

    A Nest of Spies

    Pierre Souvestre

  • "The rest of the planking's sure to be gone by this time," continues the cavalier.

  • These had been thrown into the breach and planking nailed on over them.

    A Labrador Doctor

    Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

  • Tommy struck three times on the planking of the dock with his open hand.

British Dictionary definitions for planking



a number of planks
the act of covering or furnishing with planks




a stout length of sawn timber
something that supports or sustains
one of the policies in a political party's programme
walk the plank to be forced by pirates to walk to one's death off the end of a plank jutting out over the water from the side of a ship
British slang a stupid person; idiot

verb (tr)

to cover or provide (an area) with planks
to beat (meat) to make it tender
mainly US and Canadian to cook or serve (meat or fish) on a special wooden board

Word Origin for plank

C13: from Old Norman French planke, from Late Latin planca board, from plancus flat-footed; probably related to Greek plax flat surface




(tr) Scot to hide; cache

Word Origin for plank

C19: a variant of plant
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for planking



late 13c. (c.1200 as a surname), from Old North French planke, variant of Old French planche "plank, slab, little wooden bridge" (12c.), from Late Latin planca "broad slab, board," probably from Latin plancus "flat, flat-footed," from PIE *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta). Technically, timber sawed to measure 2 to 6 inches thick, 9 inches or more wide, and 8 feet or more long. Political sense of "item of a party platform" is U.S. coinage from 1848. To walk the plank, supposedly a pirate punishment, is first attested 1789 and most early references are to slave-traders disposing of excess human cargo in crossing the ocean.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with planking


see walk the plank.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.