Definition of plank in English:

plank

noun

  • 1A long, thin, flat piece of timber, used especially in building and flooring.

    • ‘The ceiling beams and the wide-board pine plank flooring are left intact, giving a rustic mood to the room.’
    • ‘To determine the size needed, place a plank on top of the planks in the next to last row.’
    • ‘For flooring, narrow strips of bamboo are laminated together to form planks, which can be glued or nailed to a subfloor.’
    • ‘In the end, we reach a compromise: We leave the stone mosaic and run the wide planks horizontally, but we eliminate the scattered tiles.’
    • ‘To assure that the most visible wall has a full-width board, and that the planks are installed straight, use a layout line.’
    • ‘The long planks of timber fell off the truck to the left, knocking down a telegraph pole and felling telephone lines in the area.’
    • ‘Both feature high ceilings, ornate plasterwork, period fireplaces and wide plank wooden flooring.’
    • ‘The floors can also be differentiated by the size of the planks and the direction of the planking.’
    • ‘With premium material the planks are straighter and flatter and that means easier installation and less waste.’
    • ‘Most of the floors are custom-stained Black American walnut 1/2 inch by six-inch planks from Heartland Flooring.’
    • ‘It has tall, multi-coloured apartment towers that bend and droop, and people drop extended planks between buildings to visit each other.’
    • ‘She looked around, then made a beeline for a nearby stall, unadorned flat planks displaying wickerwork baskets.’
    • ‘Bridges made of boats collected together and moored side by side, with a decking of timber planks, were used from the classical period.’
    • ‘When setting a plank between ladders as a scaffold, be sure it extends a foot on each side and is clamped or nailed to its support’
    • ‘As you lay the planks, use a hammer or mallet and a scrap piece of flooring to force the planks tightly together and assure a snug fit.’
    • ‘After drying outdoors for a full year, the logs are sawed, hollowed out and polished mostly by hand into long planks that are nearly flat on one side and semicircular on the other.’
    • ‘This was done by shaving off part of one of the sides, and then shaving off some of the thinnest edge to make a flat plank.’
    • ‘One triptych consists of an old plank cut into three pieces.’
    • ‘New pine planks were stained on one side, and their bottoms were left unfinished because the owners wanted them to cup and warp to match the old boards in another part of the floor.’
    • ‘Use plywood walk boards or wooden planks over the ceiling joists for support.’
    board, floorboard, beam, timber, stave, deal
    View synonyms
  • 2A fundamental point of a political or other programme.

    ‘the central plank of the bill is the curb on industrial polluters’
    • ‘It became the central plank in a nonproliferation regime that helped restrain the pace of global nuclear proliferation.’
    • ‘The SEP's policy to end the war is grounded on the fundamental planks of socialist internationalism.’
    • ‘With a sweep of the hand and in the absence of any serious struggle, the trade unions have ditched the demand for a shorter working week, which had been a central plank of their policy for decades.’
    • ‘A central plank of the neo-conservatives' war plan is shattering.’
    • ‘It assumes that once in power it would be possible to win referendums on the main planks of its programme.’
    • ‘The fundamental plank of the SEP's program is the international unity of the working class.’
    • ‘This principle is a central plank of European Community policy, and it is becoming increasingly so in international law.’
    • ‘This stance is doubly significant, since a key plank in Day's political program is federal government support for religious schools.’
    • ‘I'm working with a playwright and we've just got to the stage where we're pretty sure we've nailed the main planks of the piece in place.’
    • ‘Every major political party had the end of the occupation as a central plank of their campaign.’
    • ‘The hope that example will prove contagious is, as I understand it, the central plank of the neo-conservative ideology in Washington.’
    • ‘Control of information and propaganda has always been a central plank of war strategy.’
    • ‘In an earlier epoch, the PT had made the repudiation of the debt a central plank in its campaign platform.’
    • ‘He has been crucial to cementing a close alliance with Washington, which has become the central plank of the political and economic strategy of the most powerful sections of the corporate elite.’
    • ‘From its formation last January, the Alliance made the call for massive cuts in personal income, capital gains, and corporate taxes its central policy plank.’
    • ‘They are also critical of the growth of single-faith schools - the encouragement of which is a central plank of the government's education policy.’
    • ‘Later he made reconciliation with Germany one of the central planks of his foreign policy.’
    • ‘Along with the KMT, it has made the buildup of the military a central plank of its election platform.’
    • ‘In the immediate postwar years he, then Labour foreign minister, was a key figure in the creation of Nato, the central plank of US military strategy during the Cold War.’
    • ‘By December, the proposal for the next phase should be ready, with a mission to Mars leaving in 2011 expected to be a central plank of the programme.’
  • 3A physical exercise designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles, in which one performs a press-up and holds the raised position for a set period of time.

    ‘the session usually include a lot of core work, lunges, planks, and squats’
    • ‘Roll right, supporting your torso on your right forearm, raising your hips and stacking your feet so your body forms a plank.’
    • ‘What are the pros and cons of planks versus crunches?’
    • ‘I've never been able to stay in the plank for more than a few seconds.’
    • ‘If you can hold a plank for more than two minutes with ease, you can move on to these tougher variations.’
    • ‘We all know (and probably hate) the plank.’
    • ‘The front plank is one of the main exercises I teach my chiropractic patients for strengthening their core region.’
    • ‘Start by doing the plank on your knees and gradually work your way up.’
    • ‘Perform the plank with your hands, feet or both on an unstable surface such as a gym ball.’
    • ‘I have $1000 riding on my ability to hold a plank for ten minutes on September 15th.’
    • ‘When I was a gym member I got an instructor to watch me do a plank because I was having trouble.’
  • 4British informal A stupid person.

    • ‘Look at the plank that she married!’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Make, provide, or cover with planks.

    ‘the planked wooden steps’
    • ‘The curved wood ceiling, shuttered wooden windows and rough planked floors lend it a seaworthy air.’
    • ‘Wooden planked floors led a path with railing around a large, square-shaped hole in the center of the room, that went down farther than the light would allow to be seen.’
    • ‘Some were planked up and rigged to portray the vessel as she looked in her completed state, while on others the hull or deck were left partially uncovered to expose the interior.’
    • ‘The bed had been made, probably just this morning, but pairs of socks already littered the wide planked, wooden floor, along with a braided rug of browns and beiges.’
    • ‘On the shore, a long row of simple huts - some made of adobe, some made of straw, some made of wood, faced the beach, joined by a wooden planked walkway.’
    • ‘There were three steps leading to the planked one room building painted white.’
    • ‘The walls of the pit would be lined with wooden planks or wattle, and the floor could also be planked.’
    • ‘It rested on the planked, wooden floor next to where the boy was sitting.’
    • ‘There was a chair and a desk bolted down on the wood planked floor, a few paintings on the walls and a porthole, which was covered by her cloak.’
    • ‘They are also biased towards the depiction of planked ships.’
    • ‘Along the planked floor of the porch, benches, wooden rocking chairs, and old metal lawn chairs lined up, facing out to the dusty fields.’
  • 2informal Put or set (something) down forcefully or abruptly.

    ‘Ned planked the glasses in front of him’
    • ‘Old, but not self consciously so, the Horseshoe Bar has a well-worn wooden counter for planking those weary elbows.’
    • ‘He planked a solid header behind him, but it was just a shade offside and the referee was quick with the decision.’
    • ‘In 37 minutes, his astute pass left him with just the keeper to beat but the striker contrived to plank his shot against the advancing keeper's legs.’
  • 3Scottish Hide (something)

    ‘he had planked £1,000 under the mattress’
    • ‘Tonight, the mystery was solved; it turned out that she had planked it in one of our cupboards with all the other stuff we smuggled (unwrapped) into the house past the kids.’

Phrases

  • walk the plank

    • 1(in former times) be forced by pirates to walk blindfold along a plank over the side of a ship to one's death in the sea.

      • ‘I'm always strangely calm before exams - sort of with the dull numbness that comes over the prisoner just before the pirates make him walk the plank.’
      • ‘It must of been a terrible view in his eyes to see his cargo being plundered, his men bloodied before walking the plank, and the woman passengers strung over the railings of the pirate's vessel.’
      • ‘After all, piracy could be just a simple matter of theft on the high seas but of course it more usually involved more nasty conduct, like making sailors walk the plank, murder, torture, etc.’
      • ‘It's to this land, where boys fly, fairies interfere and pirates walk the plank, that Wendy, played by a newcomer, and her two brothers are drawn.’
      • ‘A mischievous scene of children playing pirate games wracks nerves as the audience holds its breath, anticipating the body count as the unsuspecting kids walk the plank over the gator-infested water.’
      • ‘At some time near the Algerian coast Barbary pirates boarded the ship and its good officers and men walked the plank.’
      • ‘The blacksmith's assistant's dad was that very person, but he walked the plank after refusing to join Barbossa's mutiny, which is why his offspring is so important to the skeletal pirates.’
      • ‘After the move, said pirates, the Bones family, continue to live their life exactly as if they were still plundering on the high seas: firing cannons, flying the Skull And Crossbones, making captives walk the plank, and so on.’
      • ‘I had to try desperately to prevent my somber expression from matching one of a person walking the plank towards shark-infested waters.’
      • ‘They walked me over to the deeper end of the pool like pirates making their prisoner walk the plank.’
      1. 1.1informal Be dismissed from one's job or position.
        ‘the manager should be made to walk the plank for not insisting Bream be re-signed’
        • ‘As part of the eviction process, each week the contestant with the least number of votes is forced to walk the plank for their dramatic final exit from the show.’
        • ‘There are predictable calls for the senior councillors to ‘do the decent thing’ and walk the plank.’
        • ‘The writing may already be on the wall at Esat, where a former chief executive bowed out last month, joining a long line of former Esat bosses who have walked the plank since BT acquired the firm.’
        • ‘As for EMC, don't worry if you're about to be invited to walk the plank - he can assure you that you will be treated with dignity.’
        • ‘They caused six managers to walk the plank one way or another.’
        • ‘Why one of the best ministers in the government has to walk the plank is not clear.’
        • ‘Investors both big and small have demanded the CEO also walk the plank over its subdued earnings performance and its disastrous investment forays into Asia.’
        • ‘Jabbing his fingertips at the next contestant intended to walk the plank, he scowls and barks contemptuously, ‘You're fired!’’
        • ‘It was for that reason that he had to walk the plank last Wednesday.’
        • ‘But with the prospect of walking the plank looming large, Marie is hoping to get the support of the county behind her and particularly the support of her own age group.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old Northern French planke, from late Latin planca board, feminine (used as a noun) of plancus flat-footed.

Pronunciation:

plank

/plaŋk/