[ pleyt ]
See synonyms for: plateplatedplatesplating on

  1. a shallow, usually circular dish, often of earthenware or porcelain, from which food is eaten.

  2. the contents of such a dish.

  1. an entire course of a meal served on such a dish: I had the vegetable plate for lunch.

  2. the food and service for one person, as at a banquet, fund-raising dinner, or the like: The wedding breakfast cost $20 a plate.

  3. household dishes, utensils, etc., of metal plated with gold or silver.

  4. household dishes, utensils, etc., made of gold or silver.

  5. Also called col·lec·tion plate [kuh-lek-shuhn pleyt], /kəˈlɛk ʃən ˌpleɪt/, of·fer·ing plate [aw-fer-ing pleyt, of-er‐] /ˈɔ fər ɪŋ ˌpleɪt, ˈɒf ər‐/ . a dish, as of metal or wood, used for collecting offerings, as in a church: I don't make enough money to tithe, but I always bring a few dollars for when they pass the plate during service.

  6. a thin, flat sheet or piece of metal or other material, especially of uniform thickness.

  7. metal in such sheets.

  8. a flat, polished piece of metal on which something may be or is engraved.

  9. Usually plates . license plate: a car with New Jersey plates.

  10. a flat or curved sheet of metal, plastic, glass, or similar hard material, on which a picture or text has been engraved, etched, molded, photographically developed, or drawn, that is inked, as in a press, for printing impressions on other surfaces.

  11. a printed impression from such a piece or from some similar piece, as a woodcut.

  12. a full-page illustration in a book, especially an insert on paper different from the text pages.

  13. a piece of armor made from a thin, flat piece or several such pieces of tough material, especially wrought iron or steel.

  14. armor composed of thin, flat pieces; plate armor.

  15. Dentistry.

    • the part of a denture that conforms to the mouth and contains the teeth.

    • the entire denture.

  16. Baseball.

  17. Photography. a sheet of glass, metal, etc., coated with a sensitized emulsion, used for taking a photograph.

  18. Anatomy, Zoology. a platelike part, structure, or organ.

  19. a thin piece or cut of beef from the lower end of the ribs.

  20. Geology. crustal plate: the Pacific Plate;the Cocos and Rivera Plates.

  21. Electronics. one of the interior elements of a vacuum tube, toward which electrons are attracted by virtue of its positive charge; anode. Abbreviation: P

  22. Carpentry. any of various horizontal timbers or boards laid flat across the heads of studding, upon floors, etc., to support joists, rafters, or studs at or near their ends.

  23. a gold or silver cup or the like awarded as the prize in a horse race or some other contest.

  24. a horse race or some other contest for such a prize.

  25. Heraldry. a rounded argent.

verb (used with object),plat·ed, plat·ing.
  1. to coat (metal) with a thin film of gold, silver, nickel, etc., by mechanical or chemical means.

  2. to cover or overlay with metal plates for protection.

  1. to place (food) on or in a dish before serving (often followed by up): Plate the scallops, then deglaze the pan to make your sauce.

  2. Metalworking.

    • to forge (a bloom or the like) into a broad piece.

    • to hammer (cutlery) gently to produce an even surface.

  3. Printing. to make a stereotype or electrotype plate from (type).

  4. Papermaking. to give a high gloss to (paper), as on supercalendered paper.

Idioms about plate

  1. have on one's plate, Informal. to have as an immediate task, obligation, or prospect: I had too much on my plate already to take on another task.

Origin of plate

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English plat(e), plait(e), from Old French: literally, “something flat,” noun use of feminine of adjective plat, from unattested Vulgar Latin plattus, from Greek platýs “broad, flat”; see also flat1

Other words from plate

  • plate·less, adjective
  • plate·like, adjective

Words Nearby plate

Other definitions for plate (2 of 2)

[ pleyt ]

  1. a coin, especially of silver.

Origin of plate

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English, from Old French; special use of plate plate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use plate in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for plate (1 of 2)


/ (pleɪt) /

    • a shallow usually circular dish made of porcelain, earthenware, glass, etc, on which food is served or from which food is eaten

    • (as modifier): a plate rack

    • Also called: plateful the contents of a plate or the amount a plate will hold

    • Australian and NZ a plate of cakes, sandwiches, etc, brought by a guest to a party: everyone was asked to bring a plate

  1. an entire course of a meal: a cold plate

  2. any shallow or flat receptacle, esp for receiving a collection in church

  3. flat metal of uniform thickness obtained by rolling, usually having a thickness greater than about three millimetres

  4. a thin coating of metal usually on another metal, as produced by electrodeposition, chemical action, etc

  5. metal or metalware that has been coated in this way, esp with gold or silver: Sheffield plate

  6. dishes, cutlery, etc, made of gold or silver

  7. a sheet of metal, plastic, rubber, etc, having a printing surface produced by a process such as stereotyping, moulding, or photographic deposition

  8. a print taken from such a sheet or from a woodcut, esp when appearing in a book

  9. a thin flat sheet of a substance, such as metal or glass

  10. armour made of overlapping or articulated pieces of thin metal

  11. photog

    • a sheet of glass, or sometimes metal, coated with photographic emulsion on which an image can be formed by exposure to light

    • (as modifier): a plate camera

  12. an orthodontic device, esp one used for straightening children's teeth

  13. an informal word for denture (def. 1)

  14. anatomy any flat platelike structure or part

    • a cup or trophy awarded to the winner of a sporting contest, esp a horse race

    • a race or contest for such a prize

  15. any of the rigid layers of the earth's lithosphere of which there are believed to be at least 15: See also plate tectonics

  16. electronics

    • mainly US the anode in an electronic valve

    • an electrode in an accumulator or capacitor

  17. a horizontal timber joist that supports rafters or studs

  18. a light horseshoe for flat racing

  19. a thin cut of beef from the brisket

  20. Also called: Communion plate RC Church a flat plate held under the chin of a communicant in order to catch any fragments of the consecrated Host

  21. archaic a coin, esp one made of silver

  22. on a plate in such a way as to be acquired without further trouble: he was handed the job on a plate

  23. on one's plate waiting to be done or dealt with: he has a lot on his plate at the moment

  1. to coat (a surface, usually metal) with a thin layer of other metal by electrolysis, chemical reaction, etc

  2. to cover with metal plates, as for protection

  1. printing to make a stereotype or electrotype from (type or another plate)

  2. to form (metal) into plate, esp by rolling

  3. to give a glossy finish to (paper) by calendering

  4. to grow (microorganisms) in a culture medium

Origin of plate

C13: from Old French: thin metal sheet, something flat, from Vulgar Latin plattus (unattested); related to Greek platus flat

British Dictionary definitions for Plate (2 of 2)


/ (pleɪt) /

  1. River Plate the English name for the (Río de la) Plata

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 plate


[ plāt ]

  1. A thin, flat sheet of metal or other material, especially one used as an electrode in a storage battery or capacitor, or as the anode of an electron tube.

  2. In plate tectonics, one of the sections of the Earth's lithosphere (crust and upper mantle) that is in constant motion along with other sections. It is the interaction of the plates that causes mountains, volcanos, and other land features to form and that causes earthquakes to occur. Six major plates and numerous smaller ones are recognized. See more at tectonic boundary.

  1. To coat or cover with a thin layer of metal.

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

Other Idioms and Phrases with plate


see hand to on a silver platter (serve up on a plate); have a lot on one's plate.

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