- 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.
Origin of plateau
Examples from the Web for plateaux
Why did you not call me a bandit when I was at the Plateaux?The Hour and the Man
The hillsides as well as the plateaux are overgrown with dense vegetation.Boy Scouts in the Canal Zone
G. Harvey Ralphson
Of course, plateaux of accumulation are not always formed of igneous rocks.Fragments of Earth Lore
Further on are the mountains of Armenia, and the ark of Noah on one of its plateaux.Astronomical Myths
John F. Blake
Some veins run straight along on the plateaux, the hills, or plains.De Re Metallica
- 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
- 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)
Word Origin and History for plateaux
1796, "elevated tract of relatively level land," from French plateau "table-land," from Old French platel (12c.) "flat piece of metal, wood, etc.," diminutive of plat "flat surface or thing," noun use of adjective plat "flat, stretched out" (12c.), perhaps from Vulgar Latin *plattus, from Greek platys "flat, wide, broad" (see plaice). Meaning "stage at which no progress is apparent" is attested from 1897, originally in psychology of learning. In reference to sexual stimulation from 1960.
1952, from plateau (n.). Related: Plateaued; plateauing.
- An elevated, comparatively level expanse of land. Plateaus make up about 45 percent of the Earth's land surface.