—n. 1. a shallow, usually circular dish, often of earthenware or porcelain, from which food is eaten.
2. the contents of such a dish; plateful.
3. an entire course of a meal served on such a dish: I had the vegetable plate for lunch. 4. the food and service for one person, as at a banquet, fund-raising dinner, or the like: The wedding breakfast cost $20 a plate. 5. household dishes, utensils, etc., of metal plated with gold or silver.
6. household dishes, utensils, etc., made of gold or silver.
7. a dish, as of metal or wood, used for collecting offerings, as in a church.
8. a thin, flat sheet or piece of metal or other material, esp. of uniform thickness.
9. metal in such sheets.
10. a flat, polished piece of metal on which something may be or is engraved.
11. See license plate. 12. a flat or curved sheet of metal, plastic, glass, or similar hard material, on which a picture or text has been engraved, etched, molded, photographically developed, or drawn, that is inked, as in a press, for printing impressions on other surfaces.
13. a printed impression from such a piece or from some similar piece, as a woodcut.
14. a full-page illustration in a book, esp. an insert on paper different from the text pages.
15. a piece of armor made from a thin, flat piece or several such pieces of tough material, esp. wrought iron or steel.
16. armor composed of thin, flat pieces; plate armor.
17. Dentistry. a. the part of a denture that conforms to the mouth and contains the teeth.
b. the entire denture.
18. Baseball. a. the plate.See home plate. b. rubber1 (def. 14).
19. See plate glass. 20. Photog.a sheet of glass, metal, etc., coated with a sensitized emulsion, used for taking a photograph.
21. Anat.,Zool.a platelike part, structure, or organ.
22. a thin piece or cut of beef from the lower end of the ribs. See diag. under beef. 23. Geol.See crustal plate. 24. Electronics.one of the interior elements of a vacuum tube, toward which electrons are attracted by virtue of its positive charge; anode. Abbr.: P
25. Carpentry.any of various horizontal timbers or boards laid flat across the heads of studding, upon floors, etc., to support joists, rafters, or studs at or near their ends.
26. a gold or silver cup or the like awarded as the prize in a horse race or some other contest.
27. a horse race or some other contest for such a prize.
28. Heraldry.a rounded argent.
29. have on one's plate,Informal.to have as an immediate task, obligation, or prospect: I had too much on my plate already to take on another task.
—v.t. 1. to coat (metal) with a thin film of gold, silver, nickel, etc., by mechanical or chemical means.
2. to cover or overlay with metal plates for protection.
3. Metalworking. a. to forge (a bloom or the like) into a broad piece.
b. to hammer (cutlery) gently to produce an even surface.
4. Print.to make a stereotype or electrotype plate from (type).
5. Papermaking.to give a high gloss to (paper), as on supercalendered paper.
Pronunciation: (plāt),[key] —n.Obs. a coin, esp. of silver.