[ pla-toh or, especially British, plat-oh ]
/ plæˈtoʊ or, especially British, ˈplæt oʊ /
noun, plural pla·teaus, pla·teaux [pla-tohz or, especially British, plat-ohz]. /plæˈtoʊz or, especially British, ˈplæt oʊz/.
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.
verb (used without object), pla·teaued, pla·teau·ing.
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.
verb (used with object), pla·teaued, pla·teau·ing.
to cause to remain at a stable level, especially to prevent from rising or progressing: Rising inflation plateaued sales income.
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Origin of plateau
1785–95; <French; Old French platel flat object, diminutive of platplate1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020
Example sentences from the Web for plateau
Exports, which soared in 2010 and 2011, are showing signs of plateauing as the global economy slows.No Matter How Crazy Washington Is, Americans Can’t Stop Shopping|Daniel Gross|March 13, 2013|DAILY BEAST
“Plateauing” is what Wharton Business School calls this lack of appetite for the climb.
British Dictionary definitions for plateau (1 of 2)
/ (ˈplætəʊ) /
noun plural -eaus or -eaux (-əʊz)
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
Word Origin for plateau
C18: from French, from Old French platel something flat, from plat flat; see plate
British Dictionary definitions for plateau (2 of 2)
/ (ˈplætəʊ) /
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)
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 plateau
[ plă-tō′ ]
An elevated, comparatively level expanse of land. Plateaus make up about 45 percent of the Earth's land surface.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.