[ plak ]
See synonyms for plaque on
  1. a thin, flat plate or tablet of metal, porcelain, etc., intended for ornament, as on a wall, or set in a piece of furniture.

  2. an inscribed commemorative tablet, usually of metal placed on a building, monument, or the like.

  1. a platelike brooch or ornament, especially one worn as the badge of an honorary order.

  2. Anatomy, Pathology. a flat, often raised, patch on the skin or other organ, as on the inner lining of arterial walls in atherosclerosis.

  3. Dentistry. a soft, sticky, whitish matlike film attached to tooth surfaces, formed largely by the growth of bacteria that colonize the teeth.

  4. Bacteriology. a cleared region in a bacterial culture, resulting from lysis of bacteria by bacteriophages.

Origin of plaque

1840–50; <French, noun derivative of plaquer to plate <Middle Dutch placken to patch; cf. placket

Words that may be confused with plaque

Words Nearby plaque Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use plaque in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for plaque


/ (plæk, plɑːk) /

  1. an ornamental or commemorative inscribed tablet or plate of porcelain, wood, etc

  2. a small flat brooch or badge, as of a club, etc

  1. pathol any small abnormal patch on or within the body, such as the typical lesion of psoriasis

  2. short for dental plaque

  3. bacteriol a clear area within a bacterial or tissue culture caused by localized destruction of the cells by a bacteriophage or other virus

Origin of plaque

C19: from French, from plaquier to plate, from Middle Dutch placken to beat (metal) into a thin plate

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

Scientific definitions for plaque


[ plăk ]

  1. A small disk-shaped formation or growth; a patch.

  2. A film of mucus and bacteria on the surface of the teeth.

  1. A deposit of material in a bodily tissue or organ, especially one of the fatty deposits that collect on the inner lining of an artery wall in atherosclerosis or one of the amyloid deposits that accumulate in the brain in Alzheimer's disease.

The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Cultural definitions for plaque


[ (plak) ]

A thin film composed of bacteria, mucus, and food particles that forms on the surfaces of teeth. Plaque contributes to tooth decay and gum disease. Plaque also refers to a combination of cholesterol and lipids that can accumulate on the inside of arteries, causing atherosclerosis.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.