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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use plateau in a sentence
Younger subjects tended to be stronger initially, as did males, but the rate of progress and the plateau after a year were consistent across groups.
Officials urged people to follow public health guidelines to minimize the risk of contracting the variant as new daily cases in the hard-hit state plateau at more than 38,000, while deaths average more than 515 daily.Another coronavirus variant linked to growing share of cases, several large outbreaks, in California | Fenit Nirappil | January 18, 2021 | Washington Post
“In general, the immune response tends to follow a pattern where there is an initial phase where it ramps up, then it peaks and then contracts a little bit, and then goes on a plateau—a steady state level,” Sette says.
In both cases, the bulls bought the notion that valuations had permanently reached a new, much higher plateau than in the past.Investing legends Carl Icahn and Jeremy Grantham see a stock market bubble | Shawn Tully | January 8, 2021 | Fortune
The immune response to a virus builds gradually, peaks, then begins to contract — but can reach a plateau, and stay there for a long period.Post-infection coronavirus immunity usually robust after 8 months, study shows | Joel Achenbach | January 7, 2021 | Washington Post
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 | THE DAILY BEAST
“Plateauing” is what Wharton Business School calls this lack of appetite for the climb.
British Dictionary definitions for plateau (1 of 2)
a wide mainly level area of elevated land
a relatively long period of stability; levelling off: the rising prices reached a plateau
to remain at a stable level for a relatively long period
British Dictionary definitions for Plateau (2 of 2)
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
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.