American English

Definition of plate noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable] a flat, usually round, dish that you put food on sandwiches on a plate a pile of dirty plates dinner plates
  2. 2[countable] the amount of food that you can put on a plate a plate of sandwiches two large plates of pasta compare plateful
  3. 3[countable] a whole main course of a meal, served on one plate Try the seafood plate.
  4. for strength
  5. 4[countable] a thin flat piece of metal, used especially to join things or make something stronger The tanks were mainly constructed of steel plates. She had a metal plate inserted in her arm.
  6. for information
  7. 5[countable] a flat piece of metal with some information on it, for example someone's name A brass plate beside the door said “Dr. Alan Tate.” see also nameplate
  8. on vehicle
  9. 6[usually plural] the pieces of metal or plastic at the front and back of a vehicle with numbers and letters on them see also license plate, vanity plate
  10. in baseball
  11. 7[singular] = home plate
  12. silver/gold
  13. 8[uncountable] ordinary metal that is covered with a thin layer of silver or gold The cutlery is plate, not solid silver. see also gold plate, silver plate, tinplate
  14. 9[uncountable] dishes, bowls, etc. that are made of silver or gold the family plate
  15. in church
  16. 10the plate [singular] a flat dish that is used to collect money from people in a church
  17. on animal
  18. 11[countable] (biology) one of the thin flat pieces of horn or bone that cover and protect an animal the armadillo's protective shell of bony plates
  19. geology
  20. 12[countable] one of the very large pieces of rock that form the earth's surface and move slowly the Pacific plate Earthquakes are caused by two tectonic plates bumping into each other. see also plate tectonics
  21. printing/photography
  22. 13[countable] a photograph that is used as a picture in a book, especially one that is printed on a separate page on high-quality paper The book includes 55 color plates. See plate 4.
  23. 14[countable] a sheet of metal, plastic, etc. that has been treated so that words or pictures can be printed from it a printing plate
  24. 15[countable] a thin sheet of glass, metal, etc. that is covered with chemicals so that it reacts to light and can form an image, used in larger or older cameras
  25. in mouth
  26. 16[countable] a thin piece of plastic that fits inside your mouth, and has artificial teeth attached to it, or wire, etc. to make the teeth straight compare brace see also bookplate, breastplate, hotplate
  27. Idioms
    hand something to somebody on a plate (informal)
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    to give something to someone without the person concerned making any effort Nobody's going to hand you success on a plate.
    have enough/a lot/too much on your plate (informal)
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    to have a lot of work or problems, etc. to deal with
    step up to the plate
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    to do what is necessary in order to benefit from an opportunity or deal with a crisis It's important for world leaders to step up to the plate and honor their commitments on global warming. It's time for businesses to step up to the plate and accept responsibility.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: plate