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
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
4 . PROTECTIVE COVERING [countable]
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
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
6 . GOLD/SILVER
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.