Meaning of PLATE in English

I. plate 1 S2 W2 /pleɪt/ BrE AmE noun

[ Sense 1,3,7: Date: 1400-1500 ; Language: French ; Origin: plat 'plate, dish' , from plat 'flat' , from Vulgar Latin plattus , probably from Greek platys 'broad, flat' ]

[ Sense 2, 4-5,8-11: Date: 1200-1300 ; Language: Old French ; Origin: plat 'flat' ]

[ Sense 6: Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: Partly from Old French plat 'plate, piece of silver' , partly from Old Spanish plata 'silver' ]

1 . FOOD [countable]

a) a flat and usually round dish that you eat from or serve food on:

The plates were piled high with rice.

a dinner plate

b) ( also plateful ) the amount of food that is on a plate

plate of

He’s eaten a whole plate of french fries.

► Do not use plate when you mean ‘food cooked in a particular way as a meal’. Use dish : the chef who created this dish (NOT this plate)

2 . SIGN [countable] a flat piece of metal with words or numbers on it, for example on a door or a car:

The brass plate on the door said ‘Dr Rackman’.

number/license/registration plate (=on a car)

Did anyone see the car’s license plate?

⇨ ↑ L-plate , ↑ nameplate

3 . have a lot/enough on your plate informal to have a lot of problems to deal with or problems to worry about


a) technical one of the thin sheets of bone, horn etc that covers and protects the outside of some animals

b) a thin sheet of metal used to protect something

metal/steel/iron plates

The shoes had metal plates attached to the heels.

5 . EARTH’S SURFACE [countable] technical one of the very large sheets of rock that form the surface of the Earth ⇨ ↑ plate tectonics


a) gold/silver plate ordinary metal with a thin covering of gold or silver

b) [uncountable] things such as plates, cups, forks, or knives made of gold or silver

7 . hand/give/offer somebody something on a plate to let someone get or achieve something easily, without much effort from them:

I worked hard for what I’ve got. It wasn’t handed to me on a plate.

8 . PICTURES/PHOTOS [countable]

a) a sheet of metal that has been cut or treated in a special way so that words or pictures can be printed from its surface:

copper printing plates

b) a picture in a book, printed on good-quality paper and usually coloured

c) a thin sheet of glass used especially in the past in photography, with chemicals on it that are sensitive to light

9 . BASEBALL [countable usually singular] the place where the person hitting the ball stands

10 . COMPETITION the ... Plate used in the names of sports competitions or races in which the winner gets a silver plate:

This horse won the Galway Plate.

11 . TEETH [countable]

a) a thin piece of plastic shaped to fit inside a person’s mouth, into which ↑ false teeth are fixed

b) British English a thin piece of plastic with wires fixed to it, that some people wear in their mouth to make their teeth straight SYN brace British English

⇨ ↑ hotplate

II. plate 2 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

be plated with something

a) to be covered with a thin covering of gold or silver:

a beautiful necklace, plated with 22-carat gold


a gold-plated watch

b) to be covered in sheets of a hard material such as metal:

The ship had been heavily plated with protective sheets.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.