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plate (plāt)
1. A smooth, flat, relatively thin, rigid body of uniform thickness.
a. A sheet of hammered, rolled, or cast metal.
b. A very thin applied or deposited coat of metal.
a. A flat piece of metal forming part of a machine: a boiler plate.
b. A flat piece of metal on which something is engraved.
c. A license plate: a car with Utah plates.
a. A thin piece of metal used for armor.
b. Armor made of such pieces.
5. Printing
a. A sheet of metal, plastic, rubber, paperboard, or other material prepared for use as a printing surface, such as an electrotype or a stereotype.
b. A print of a woodcut, lithograph, or other engraved material, especially when reproduced in a book.
c. A full-page book illustration, often in color and printed on paper different from that used for text pages.
6. Photography A light-sensitive sheet of glass or metal on which a photographic image can be recorded.
7. Dentistry A thin metallic or plastic support fitted to the gums to anchor artificial teeth.
8. Architecture In wood-frame construction, a horizontal member that bears a load, as of a roof or a wall.
9. Baseball Home plate.
a. A shallow dish in which food is served or from which it is eaten.
b. The contents of such a dish: ate a plate of spaghetti.
c. A whole course served on such a dish.
11. Service and food for one person at a meal: dinner at a set price per plate.
12. Household articles, such as hollowware, covered with a precious metal, such as silver or gold.
13. A dish passed among the members of a group or congregation for the collection of offerings.
14. Sports
a. A dish, cup, or other article of silver or gold offered as a prize.
b. A contest, especially a horserace, offering such a prize.
15. A thin cut of beef from underneath the ribs, including the diaphragm muscle.
16. Biology
a. A thin flat layer or scale, as that of a fish.
b. A platelike part, organ, or structure, such as that covering some reptiles.
17. Electricity
a. An electrode, as in a storage battery or capacitor.
b. The anode in an electron tube.
18. Geology See tectonic plate.
19. Informal A schedule of matters to be dealt with: had a lot on my plate at work after vacation.
tr.v. plat·ed, plat·ing, plates
1. To coat or cover with a thin layer of metal.
2. To cover with armor plate: plate a warship.
3. Printing To make a stereotype or electrotype from.
4. To give a glossy finish to (paper) by pressing between metal sheets or rollers.
5. 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).
6. Baseball To cause (a run) to be scored or (a runner) to cross home plate, as by a hit.

[Middle English, from Old French, from feminine of plat, flat, from Vulgar Latin *plattus, from Greek platus; see plat- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

plater n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.