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

  • n. An elevated, comparatively level expanse of land; a tableland.
  • n. A relatively stable level, period, or state: Mortgage rates declined, then reached a plateau.
  • intransitive v. To reach a stable level; level off: "The tension seemed to grow by degrees, then it plateaued” ( Tom Clancy).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A largely level expanse of land at a high elevation; tableland.
  • n. A comparatively stable level in something that varies.
  • n. An ornamental dish for the table; a tray or salver.
  • n. A notable level of attainment or achievement.
  • v. Reach a stable level; level off.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A flat surface; especially, a broad, level, elevated area of land; a table-land.
  • n. An ornamental dish for the table; a tray or salver.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In pnys.geog., an elevated region of considerable extent, often traversed by mountain-ranges.
  • n. A tray for table service.
  • n. A decorative plaque.

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

  • n. a relatively flat highland


French, from Old French platel, platter, from plat, flat; see plate.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From French plateau, diminutive of plat ("a plate"); see plate. (Wiktionary)



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  • JM wonders if a plateau is a higher form of flattery.

    August 13, 2011