- a long, flat piece of timber, thicker than a board.
- lumber in such pieces; planking.
- something to stand on or to cling to for support.
- any one of the stated principles or objectives comprising the political platform of a party campaigning for election: They fought for a plank supporting a nuclear freeze.
- to lay, cover, or furnish with planks.
- to bake or broil and serve (steak, fish, chicken, etc.) on a wooden board.
- plunk(def 2).
- walk the plank,
- to be forced, as by pirates, to walk to one's death by stepping off a plank extending from the ship's side over the water.
- to relinquish something, as a position, office, etc., under compulsion: We suspect that the new vice-president walked the plank because of a personality clash.
Origin of plank
- a stout length of sawn timber
- something that supports or sustains
- one of the policies in a political party's programme
- walk the plank to be forced by pirates to walk to one's death off the end of a plank jutting out over the water from the side of a ship
- British slang a stupid person; idiot
- to cover or provide (an area) with planks
- to beat (meat) to make it tender
- mainly US and Canadian to cook or serve (meat or fish) on a special wooden board
Word Origin for plank
- (tr) Scot to hide; cache
Word Origin for plank
late 13c. (c.1200 as a surname), from Old North French planke, variant of Old French planche "plank, slab, little wooden bridge" (12c.), from Late Latin planca "broad slab, board," probably from Latin plancus "flat, flat-footed," from PIE *plak- (1) "to be flat" (see placenta). Technically, timber sawed to measure 2 to 6 inches thick, 9 inches or more wide, and 8 feet or more long. Political sense of "item of a party platform" is U.S. coinage from 1848. To walk the plank, supposedly a pirate punishment, is first attested 1789 and most early references are to slave-traders disposing of excess human cargo in crossing the ocean.
walk the plank
Be forced to resign, as in We were sure that Ted hadn't left of his own accord; he'd walked the plank. This metaphoric idiom alludes to a form of execution used in the 17th century, mainly by pirates, whereby a victim was forced to walk off the end of a board placed on the edge of the ship's deck and so drown. [Second half of 1800s]
see walk the plank.