Definition of plate noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//pleɪt//
    ; NAmE NAmE//pleɪt//
    The Earth and the atmosphere, At the dining table
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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 See related entries: At the dining table
  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] (especially North American English) 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 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 somebody’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 it see also L-plate, license plate, number plate
  10. silver/gold
  11. 7[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
  12. 8[uncountable] dishes, bowls, etc. that are made of silver or gold the family plate
  13. on animal
  14. 9[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
  15. geology
  16. 10[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 See related entries: The Earth and the atmosphere
  17. printing/photography
  18. 11[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 colour plates. See plate 4.
  19. 12[countable] a sheet of metal, plastic, etc. that has been treated so that words or pictures can be printed from it a printing plate
  20. 13[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
  21. in mouth
  22. 14[countable] a thin piece of plastic with wire or artificial teeth attached to it which fits inside your mouth in order to make your teeth straight compare brace, dentures
  23. in baseball
  24. 15[singular] (North American English) = home plate
  25. in church
  26. 16(also the plate) [singular] a flat dish that is used to collect money from people in a church
  27. see also bookplate, breastplate, footplate, hotplate
    Word OriginMiddle English (denoting a flat, thin sheet, usually of metal): from Old French, from medieval Latin plata ‘plate armour’, based on Greek platus ‘flat’. Senses (1) to (3) represent Old French plat ‘platter, large dish’, also ‘dish of meat’, noun use of Old French plat ‘flat’.Extra examples I could see how hungry she was from the way she cleared her plate. She ate everything on her plate. The driver was arrested for having false licence/​license plates on his car. The sink was full of dirty plates. a plate of rice He barely touched the food on his plate. He came in carrying a plate of sandwiches. The set includes four dinner plates, four side plates and four soup bowls. There was an enormous pile of dirty plates in the kitchen sink. There were two large plates of pasta on the table. We used plastic cutlery and ate off paper plates. a vehicle’s license platesIdioms
    hand something to somebody on a plate
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    (informal) to give something to somebody 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
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    (informal) to have a lot of work or problems, etc. to deal with
    (especially North American English) 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 American Dictionary entry: plate