from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A smooth, flat, relatively thin, rigid body of uniform thickness.
  • noun A sheet of hammered, rolled, or cast metal.
  • noun A very thin applied or deposited coat of metal.
  • noun A flat piece of metal forming part of a machine.
  • noun A flat piece of metal on which something is engraved.
  • noun A license plate.
  • noun A thin piece of metal used for armor.
  • noun Armor made of such pieces.
  • noun A sheet of metal, plastic, rubber, paperboard, or other material prepared for use as a printing surface, such as an electrotype or a stereotype.
  • noun A print of a woodcut, lithograph, or other engraved material, especially when reproduced in a book.
  • noun A full-page book illustration, often in color and printed on paper different from that used for text pages.
  • noun Photography A light-sensitive sheet of glass or metal on which a photographic image can be recorded.
  • noun Dentistry A thin metallic or plastic support fitted to the gums to anchor artificial teeth.
  • noun Architecture In wood-frame construction, a horizontal member, capping the exterior wall studs, upon which the roof rafters rest.
  • noun Baseball Home plate.
  • noun A shallow dish in which food is served or from which it is eaten.
  • noun The contents of such a dish.
  • noun A whole course served on such a dish.
  • noun Service and food for one person at a meal.
  • noun Household articles, such as hollowware, covered with a precious metal, such as silver or gold.
  • noun A dish passed among the members of a group or congregation for the collection of offerings.
  • noun A dish, cup, or other article of silver or gold offered as a prize.
  • noun A contest, especially a horserace, offering such a prize.
  • noun A thin cut of beef from the brisket.
  • noun A thin flat layer or scale, as that of a fish.
  • noun A platelike part, organ, or structure, such as that covering some reptiles.
  • noun An electrode, as in a storage battery or capacitor.
  • noun The anode in an electron tube.
  • noun Informal A schedule of matters to be dealt with.
  • transitive verb To coat or cover with a thin layer of metal.
  • transitive verb To cover with armor plate.
  • transitive verb Printing To make a stereotype or electrotype from.
  • transitive verb To give a glossy finish to (paper) by pressing between metal sheets or rollers.
  • transitive verb To arrange (food) on a plate, as for serving.
  • transitive verb Baseball To cause (a run) to be scored or (a runner) to cross home plate, as by a hit.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In paper-making, to pass a finished or machine-calendered paper through the supplementary rolls called the supercalenders (which see). See also supercalendered.
  • To arm with platearmor for defense.
  • To overlay or coat with silver, gold, or other metal; specifically, to attach a perma nent covering or film of one metal to (the surface of another).—3. To arm of cover (a ship) with armor-plates.—4. To beat into thin flat pieces or laminæ.
  • To implant (microorganisms) in a thin layer of gelatin spread upon a glass plate. See plate-culture.
  • noun In bacteriology, the film of agar-agar or gelatin poured upon a glass plate or into a Petri dish for the purpose of separating specific organisms. See plating, 3. Also called poured plate.
  • noun A butchers' term for the long, thin cut of beef, weighing usually about 60 pounds, and including the brisket, the navel piece, and the thinner inside piece called the skirt.


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French, from feminine of plat, flat, from Vulgar Latin *plattus, from Greek platus.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old French plate < Medieval Latin plata < Vulgar Latin *plat(t)us < Ancient Greek πλατύς ("broad, flat, wide").


  • I tipped over the name plate on his desk: Dr. Richard Salmon.

    Fish Stew

  • On display are sculptures in chocolate: a life size one of Ms. Brown's figure, of her diploma a masters in milk chocolate, a pair of her high heels and a name plate from her desk that identifies Ms. Brown as the "Chief Chocolate Officer" of M&M's.

    Chief Chocolate Officer Comes Out of the Pantry

  • Noticing the suit and tie, he spoke to me first, looking down his nose, as he did so, to the name plate on my breast pocket.

    The Unlucky Thirteen

  • I said goodbye quickly to the metro editor, logged off my computer, placed my name plate in my bag and left.

    Count Your Blessings

  • According to the title plate, the video was shot by Canadian Force Combat Camera 8-9 July about 25 km west of Kandahar.

    Archive 2006-08-01

  • “According to the title plate, this work of art is by Andrey Rublyov and is called St. Albert in Agony.”

    State of the Union

  • Eventually we left without settling on anything because a preliminary problem could not be solved: the name plate was too high up on the wall to reach.

    Wild Swans

  • The title plate said STRIVING and assigned the blame to an Italian artist.

    Over the Edge

  • Apparently, Clark got in there before the city's mayor, the deputy mayor, the guy who works the counter at the courthouse coffee shop and anybody else with a name plate on their desk. - Home Page

  • "Hypocrite minister" was written in Arabic on the name plate in such a faithful copy of the size and style of the original words "prime minister" that the title looked official.

    The Guardian World News


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  • In book publishing, 1) an image, picture, diagram, etc., printed separately from the text, often on different paper. 2) The printing plate from which the image is produced.

    February 25, 2008