views updated May 29 2018

plate / plāt/ • n. 1. a flat dish, typically circular and made of china, from which food is eaten or served. ∎  an amount of food on such a dish: a plate of spaghetti. ∎  a flat dish, typically made of metal or wood, passed around a church congregation in order to collect donations of money. ∎  a course of a meal, served on one plate: I’ll have the salad plate. ∎  an individual meal, with reference to its cost: a gala $1,000-a-plate dinner. ∎  Biol. a shallow glass dish on which a culture of cells or microorganisms may be grown. ∎  dishes, bowls, cups, and other utensils made of gold, silver, or other metal. ∎  a silver or gold dish or trophy awarded as a prize in a race or competition: she lifted the plate in victory.2. a thin, flat sheet or strip of metal or other material, typically one used to join or strengthen things or forming part of a machine: he underwent surgery to have a steel plate put into his leg. ∎  a small, flat piece of metal or other material bearing a name or inscription and attached to a door or other object: a brass plate with her initials. ∎  (usu. plates) short for license plate: the car had Vermont plates. ∎  Bot. & Zool. a thin, flat organic structure or formation: the fused bony plates protect the tortoise's soft parts. ∎  Geol. each of the several rigid pieces of the earth's lithosphere that together make up the earth's surface.(See also plate tectonics.) ∎  Baseball short for home plate. ∎  a piece of lumber laid horizontally along the top of a wall to support the ends of joists or rafters. ∎  a light horseshoe for a racehorse.3. a sheet of metal, plastic, or some other material bearing an image of type or illustrations from which multiple copies are printed. ∎  a printed photograph, picture, or illustration, esp. one on superior-quality paper in a book. ∎  a thin sheet of metal, glass, or other substance coated with a light-sensitive film on which an image is formed, used in larger or older types of cameras.4. a thin piece of plastic molded to the shape of a person's mouth and gums, to which artificial teeth or another orthodontic appliance are attached. ∎  inf. a complete denture or orthodontic appliance.5. a thin piece of metal that acts as an electrode in a capacitor, battery, or cell. ∎  the anode of a thermionic tube.• v. [tr.] 1. cover (a metal object) with a thin coating or film of a different metal: she had already taken the coin to a jeweler to be plated | [as adj. , in comb.] (-plated) the cylinder is nickel-plated. ∎  cover (an object) with plates of metal for decoration, protection, or strength.2. serve or arrange (food) on a plate or plates before a meal: overcooked vegetables won't look appetizing, no matter how they are plated.3. Baseball score (a run or runs); cause (someone) to score.4. Biol. inoculate (cells or infective material) onto a culture plate, esp. with the object of isolating a particular strain of microorganisms or estimating viable cell numbers.PHRASES: on one's plate occupying one's time or energy: you've got a lot on your plate at the moment.DERIVATIVES: plate·ful / -ˌfoŏl/ n. (pl. -fuls) plate·less adj.plat·er / ˈplātər/ n.ORIGIN: Middle English (denoting a flat, thin sheet, usually of metal): from Old French, from medieval Latin plata ‘plate armor,’ based on Greek platus ‘flat.’ Sense 1 represents Old French plat ‘platter, large dish,’ also ‘dish of meat,’ noun use of Old French plat ‘flat.’


views updated May 08 2018

1.. A segment of the lithosphere, which has little volcanic or seismic activity but is bounded by almost continuous belts (known as plate margins) of earthquakes and, in most cases, by volcanic activity and young subsea or subaerial mountain chains. Most Earth scientists consider there are currently seven large, major plates (the African, Antarctic, Eurasian, Indo—Australian or Indian, North American, Pacific, and South American Plates). There are also several smaller plates (e.g. the Arabian, Caribbean, Cocos, Nazca, and Philippine Plates) and an increasingly long list of microplates (e.g. the Gorda, Hellenic, and Juan de Fuca Plates). The positions of the boundaries of some present-day plates are disputed, particularly within and adjacent to collision zones, e.g. the Alpine—Himalayan belt, so it is not surprising that very little agreement has been reached about the histories of plates in the geologic past.

2.. A general term applied to plane pieces of skeletal material usually formed from calcium carbonate. Plates occur in groups of several types, e.g. the delthyrium in some brachiopods (Brachiopoda) is closed by a pair of deltidial plates.

3.. The outer covering of a crinoid (Crinoidea) body, which consists of a series of rows of plates.

4.. The bony covering, often fused to the ribs, on the upper and lower surfaces of the body of a turtle. The upper surface is the ‘carapace’, the lower is the ‘plastron’.


views updated May 14 2018

plate. Any timber, e.g. a wall-plate, laid horizontally on posts or walls serving as the support for other timbers above, its main functions being to provide fixings and to distribute the loads. Types include:aisle-plate: wall-plate of a timber-framed aisled building;arcade-plate: plate on top of the posts of an arcade in an aisled building;collar-plate: plate resting on collars. Called collar-purlin;crown-plate: plate in a crown-post roof, carried on the crown-posts and bearing the collars. Also called collar-purlin;head-plate: beam at the top of a timber-framed wall or internal partition;jetty-plate: wall-plate of a lower timber-framed storey on which the joists of the jettied floor above rest, really a type of head-plate;sole-plate: short piece of timber (sole-piece) set at 90° to the face of a wall, supporting the foot of a rafter and ashlar-piece;wall-plate: plate on top of a timber frame or load-bearing wall on which the roof-timbers rest.


Alcock,, Barley,, Dixon,, & and Meeson (1996);
Sturgis et al. (1901–2)


views updated May 18 2018

plate flat sheet of (precious) metal, etc. XIII; utensils of metal for the table or house, orig. of silver or gold XIV; shallow vessel for food XV. — OF. plate thin sheet of metal — medL. platta, sb. use of fem. of plattus flat (F. plat, etc.), of unkn. orig. In the last sense a separate word — (O)F. plat dish.
Hence vb. cover with metal plates. XIV.


views updated May 23 2018


tableware collectively.