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  1. a horizontal surface or structure with a horizontal surface raised above the level of the surrounding area.
  2. a raised flooring or other horizontal surface, such as, in a hall or meeting place, a stage for use by public speakers, performers, etc.
  3. the raised area between or alongside the tracks of a railroad station, from which the cars of the train are entered.
  4. the open entrance area, or the vestibule, at the end of a railroad passenger car.
  5. a landing in a flight of stairs.
  6. a public statement of the principles, objectives, and policy of a political party, especially as put forth by the representatives of the party in a convention to nominate candidates for an election: The platform contained the usual platitudes.
  7. a body of principles on which a person or group takes a stand in appealing to the public; program: The Fabians developed an all-embracing platform promising utopia.
  8. a set of principles; plan.
  9. a place for public discussion; forum.
  10. a decklike construction on which the drill rig of an offshore oil or gas well is erected.
  11. Building Trades. a relatively flat member or construction for distributing weight, as a wall plate, grillage, etc.
  12. Military.
    1. solid ground on which artillery pieces are mounted.
    2. a metal stand or base attached to certain types of artillery pieces.
  13. Nautical. flat1(def 42a).
  14. a flat, elevated piece of ground.
  15. Geology. a vast area of undisturbed sedimentary rocks that, together with a shield, constitutes a craton.
  16. a thick insert of leather, cork, or other sturdy material between the uppers and the sole of a shoe, usually intended for stylish effect or to give added height.
  17. platforms, platform shoes.
  18. Digital Technology.
    1. hardware platform.
    2. software platform.
    3. gaming platform.
  19. a scheme of religious principles or doctrines.

Origin of platform

1540–50; earlier platte forme < Middle French: literally, flat form, plane figure. See plate1, form
Related formsplat·form·less, adjective

Synonyms for platform

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for platform


  1. a raised floor or other horizontal surface, such as a stage for speakers
  2. a raised area at a railway station, from which passengers have access to the trains
  3. See drilling platform, production platform
  4. the declared principles, aims, etc, of a political party, an organization, or an individual
  5. a level raised area of ground
    1. the thick raised sole of some high-heeled shoes
    2. (as modifier)platform shoes
  6. a vehicle or level place on which weapons are mounted and fired
  7. a specific type of computer hardware or computer operating system

Word Origin for platform

C16: from French plateforme, from plat flat + forme form, layout
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

Word Origin and History for platform

1540s, "plan of action, scheme, design," from Middle French plateforme, platte fourme, literally "flat form," from Old French plat "flat" (see plateau (n.)) + forme "form" (see form (n.)). The literal sense of "raised, level surface" in English is first recorded 1550s. Political meaning, "statement of party policies," is from 1803, probably originally an image of a literal platform on which politicians gather, stand, and make their appeals, perhaps influenced by earlier sense of "set of rules governing church doctrine" (first attested 1570s). Railroad station sense is from 1838.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

platform in Science


  1. The basic technology of a computer system's hardware and software, defining how a computer is operated and determining what other kinds of software can be used. Additional software or hardware must be compatible with the platform.
  2. The part of a continent's craton (the ancient, relatively undisturbed portion of a continental plate) that is covered by flat or nearly flat strata of sediment.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

platform in Culture


A political party's or candidate's written statement of principles and plans. A platform is usually developed by a committee at the party convention during a presidential campaign.


The combination of computer hardware and operating system that applications must be compatible with.

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.