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

  • n. A smooth, flat, relatively thin, rigid body of uniform thickness.
  • n. A sheet of hammered, rolled, or cast metal.
  • n. A very thin applied or deposited coat of metal.
  • n. A flat piece of metal forming part of a machine: a boiler plate.
  • n. A flat piece of metal on which something is engraved.
  • n. A license plate.
  • n. A thin piece of metal used for armor.
  • n. Armor made of such pieces.
  • n. Printing A sheet of metal, plastic, rubber, paperboard, or other material prepared for use as a printing surface, such as an electrotype or a stereotype.
  • n. Printing A print of a woodcut, lithograph, or other engraved material, especially when reproduced in a book.
  • n. Printing A full-page book illustration, often in color and printed on paper different from that used on the text pages.
  • n. Photography A light-sensitive sheet of glass or metal on which a photographic image can be recorded.
  • n. Dentistry A thin metallic or plastic support fitted to the gums to anchor artificial teeth.
  • n. Architecture In wood-frame construction, a horizontal member, capping the exterior wall studs, upon which the roof rafters rest.
  • n. Baseball Home plate.
  • n. A shallow dish in which food is served or from which it is eaten.
  • n. The contents of such a dish: ate a plate of spaghetti.
  • n. A whole course served on such a dish.
  • n. Service and food for one person at a meal: dinner at a set price per plate.
  • n. Household articles, such as hollowware, covered with a precious metal, such as silver or gold.
  • n. A dish passed among the members of a group or congregation for the collection of offerings.
  • n. Sports A dish, cup, or other article of silver or gold offered as a prize.
  • n. Sports A contest, especially a horserace, offering such a prize.
  • n. A thin cut of beef from the brisket.
  • n. Biology A thin flat layer or scale, as that of a fish.
  • n. Biology A platelike part, organ, or structure, such as that covering some reptiles.
  • n. Electricity An electrode, as in a storage battery or capacitor.
  • n. Electricity The anode in an electron tube.
  • n. Geology In the theory of plate tectonics, one of the sections of the earth's lithosphere, constantly moving in relation to the other sections.
  • n. Informal A schedule of matters to be dealt with: had a lot on my plate at work after vacation.
  • transitive v. To coat or cover with a thin layer of metal.
  • transitive v. To cover with armor plate: plate a warship.
  • transitive v. Printing To make a stereotype or electrotype from.
  • transitive v. To give a glossy finish to (paper) by pressing between metal sheets or rollers.
  • transitive v. To arrange (food) on a plate, as for serving: "a choice of starters, entrées, and desserts plated just as they will appear when ordered” ( John Edward Young).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A dish from which food is served or eaten.
  • n. Such dishes collectively.
  • n. The contents of such a dish.
  • n. A course at a meal.
  • n. A flat metallic object of uniform thickness.
  • n. A vehicle license plate.
  • n. A decorative or food service item coated with silver.
  • n. A weighted disk, usually of metal, with a hole in the center for use with a barbell, dumbbell, or exercise machine.
  • n. An engraved surface used to transfer an image to paper.
  • n. An image or copy.
  • n. An illustration in a book, either black and white, or colour, usually on a page of paper of different quality from the text pages.
  • n. A shaped and fitted surface, usually ceramic or metal that fits into the mouth and in which teeth are implanted; a dental plate.
  • n. A horizontal framing member at the top or bottom of a group of vertical studs.
  • n. A foot, from "plates of meat".
  • n. Home plate.
  • n. A tectonic plate.
  • n. Plate armour.
  • n. Any of various larger scales found in some reptiles.
  • n. An electrode such as can be found in an accumulator battery, or in an electrolysis tank.
  • v. To cover the surface material of an object with a thin coat of another material, usually a metal.
  • v. To place the various elements of a meal on the diner's plate prior to serving.
  • v. To perform cunnilingus.
  • v. To score a run.
  • v. To specify which airline a ticket will be issued on behalf of.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A flat, or nearly flat, piece of metal, the thickness of which is small in comparison with the other dimensions; a thick sheet of metal.
  • n. Metallic armor composed of broad pieces.
  • n. Domestic vessels and utensils, as flagons, dishes, cups, etc., wrought in gold or silver.
  • n. Metallic ware which is plated, in distinction from that which is silver or gold throughout.
  • n. A small, shallow, and usually circular, vessel of metal or wood, or of earth glazed and baked, from which food is eaten at table.
  • n. A piece of money, usually silver money.
  • n. A piece of metal on which anything is engraved for the purpose of being printed; hence, an impression from the engraved metal
  • n. A page of stereotype, electrotype, or the like, for printing from.
  • n. That part of an artificial set of teeth which fits to the mouth, and holds the teeth in place. It may be of gold, platinum, silver, rubber, celluloid, etc.
  • n. A horizontal timber laid upon a wall, or upon corbels projecting from a wall, and supporting the ends of other timbers; also used specifically of the roof plate which supports the ends of the roof trusses or, in simple work, the feet of the rafters.
  • n. A roundel of silver or tinctured argent.
  • n. A sheet of glass, porcelain, metal, etc., with a coating that is sensitive to light.
  • n. A prize giving to the winner in a contest.
  • n. A small five-sided area (enveloping a diamond-shaped area one foot square) beside which the batter stands and which must be touched by some part of a player on completing a run; -- called also home base, or home plate.
  • n. One of the thin parts of the bricket of an animal.
  • n. A very light steel racing horsehoe.
  • n. Loosely, a sporting contest for a prize; specif., in horse racing, a race for a prize, the contestants not making a stake.
  • n. Skins for fur linings of garments, sewed together and roughly shaped, but not finally cut or fitted.
  • n. The fine nap (as of beaver, hare's wool, musquash, nutria, or English black wool) on a hat the body of which is of an inferior substance.
  • n. a quantity sufficient to fill a plate; a plateful; a dish containing that quantity.
  • n. the food and service supplied to a customer at a restaurant; ; I'll have a plate of spaghetti.
  • n. a flat dish of glass or plastic with a fitted cover, used for culturing microorganisms in a laboratory.
  • n. the identification tag required to be displayed on the outside of a vehicle; same as license plate; -- often used in the plural.
  • n. an agenda or schedule of tasks to be performed.
  • transitive v. To cover or overlay with gold, silver, or other metals, either by a mechanical process, as hammering, or by a chemical process, as electrotyping.
  • transitive v. To cover or overlay with plates of metal; to arm with metal for defense.
  • transitive v. To adorn with plated metal.
  • transitive v. To beat into thin, flat pieces, or laminæ.
  • transitive v. To calender.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • In paper-making, to pass a finished or machine-calendered paper through the supplementary rolls called the supercalenders (which see). See also supercalendered.
  • n. A sheet of metal of uniform thickness and even surface: as, a plate of gold; a steel plate.
  • n. A flat piece of metal used to strengthen arms; hence, armor made of sheets of metal, as distinguished from mail or chain-armor. See cut in preceding column.
  • n. A shallow dish of pottery, porcelain, or metal, on which food is served at table, or from which it is eaten; also, a plateful; a course or portion at table: as, a soup-plate; a fruit-plate; a plate of soup or of fish.
  • n. Gold or silver dishes and utensils used at table or in the home, including besides dishes other vessels, as cups, flagons, etc., as well as spoons, knives, forks, etc.: as, a sale of the furniture and plate.
  • n. Articles which have been covered with a plating of precious metal not solid gold or silver; plated ware.
  • n. A cup or flagon or other article of gold or silver a warded to the winner in a contest, as to the owner of the winning horse or the crew of the winning boat in a race; a “cup.''
  • n. A beam or piece of timber laid horizontally in a wall to receive the ends of other timbers. The plate for roof-timbers, and also for joists, is called a wall-plate. Compare plat, n., 1.
  • n. A flat piece of metal, as brass, copper, or steel, on which any representation or inscription is engraved: as, a door-plate; a coffin-Plate; especially, such a piece of metal so engraved for impression on paper, etc.: as, a book-plate; a card-plate; hence, the printed impression from an engraved plate: as, a book illustrated with plates.
  • n. A duplicate, in one piece of metal, of the face of composed types or woodcuts.
  • n. In dentistry, a piece of metal or composition fitted to the mouth and holding the teeth of a denture.
  • n. In horology, one of the two parallel pieces of metal to which the wheels are pivoted in a watch or clock
  • n. The flat piece of metal forming the side of the lock of a firearm
  • n. A flat piece of metal usually forming a part of the bed or bosh of a metallurgical furnace
  • n. A commonly rectangular piece of glass used in photography to receive the picture.
  • n. In baseball, the home base.
  • n. Naul., a bar or band of iron, as in futtockplates, channel-plate, etc.; specifically, in iron ships, the metal which forms part of the strake on the ship's side.
  • n. Shale of the coal-measures. It is in these strata that the finest specimens of the coal-plants are most frequently found. Also called binds.
  • n. Plate-glass.
  • n. The finest quality of pewter.
  • n. In anat., zoöl., and botany, a plate-like part, organ, or structure; a lamina or lamella; a layer: not specific, the thing indicated being designated by a qualifying term. See cuts under carapace, Coluber, and whalebone.
  • n. A Spanish money of account. Also called old plate. Eight reals of old plate made the peso de plata, or piaster—that is, the Spanish dollar.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. In geology, a wide area of flat and undisturbed strata.
  • n. In polychætons annelids, one of the chitinous jaws.
  • n. In the Brachiopoda, one of the two erect shelly plates which support the teeth of the ventral valve and rest on the bottom of that valve. By their convergence and union they form the spondylium in some species, and this structure may be supported on a single median plate or septum. See spondylium.
  • n. In dental surgery, a plate of metal, hard rubber, or other material, molded to the shape of the roof of the mouth, which serves as a support for false teeth.
  • n. Same as buccal shield.
  • n. A thin coating of silver deposited over the surface of an article made of some other metal.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a rigid layer of the Earth's crust that is believed to drift slowly
  • n. (baseball) base consisting of a rubber slab where the batter stands; it must be touched by a base runner in order to score
  • n. the quantity contained in a plate
  • n. a shallow receptacle for collection in church
  • n. a sheet of metal or wood or glass or plastic
  • n. structural member consisting of a horizontal beam that provides bearing and anchorage
  • n. the positively charged electrode in a vacuum tube
  • n. a main course served on a plate
  • n. a dental appliance that artificially replaces missing teeth
  • n. dish on which food is served or from which food is eaten
  • n. any flat platelike body structure or part
  • n. the thin under portion of the forequarter
  • n. a full-page illustration (usually on slick paper)
  • v. coat with a layer of metal
  • n. a flat sheet of metal or glass on which a photographic image can be recorded
  • n. a metal sheathing of uniform thickness (such as the shield attached to an artillery piece to protect the gunners)


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