Definition of plate in English:



  • 1A flat dish, typically circular and made of china, from which food is eaten or served.

    ‘he pushed his empty plate to one side and sipped his wine’
    ‘a dinner plate’
    • ‘Make sure you hear that little pop in the bottle when you open it, and also to serve the baby food onto a plate rather than just serving it straight out of the bottle.’
    • ‘When all those invited had arrived, toasts were drunk to the betrothed couple, and the first plates of food were served.’
    • ‘I wipe the syrup from my mouth and push the empty plate away.’
    • ‘Evan picked up his empty plate and pushed the chair back.’
    • ‘A pile of rugs and blankets lay within, pillar candles perched all about, set on dinner plates from the china closet.’
    • ‘But she said the risk of affected foods reaching dinner plates in schools or hospitals was ‘very low’.’
    • ‘She picked up a plate and dished up food from the platters that Aidan had set on the blue tile covered buffet in the center of the kitchen.’
    • ‘Serve on dinner plates, pouring any extra sauce on top.’
    • ‘Both Chris and Peter have a great love of the Aussie bush and a passion to generate recognisably Tasmanian foods for the dinner plate.’
    • ‘He let his fork rest gently on his china plate, food still pierced on its prongs, a look of consideration daubed onto his face.’
    • ‘Linda watched Karen as she sat her new doll carefully on a tree stump and placed tiny china plates, cups and saucers before it.’
    • ‘When we finally pushed our empty plates away, Clayton insisted on buying my breakfast.’
    • ‘Again, the dishes arrived quickly, served on large white dinner plates.’
    • ‘They didn't tell me that I'd be the only woman there, apart from two serving wenches who disappeared the minute those dinner plates hit the table.’
    • ‘Empty plates are warmed before food is served, which is a nice touch.’
    • ‘Mats are provided, food is served upon plates and drink is poured into cups.’
    • ‘Dishes are served on a revolving plate in the centre of the table, and food is deftly picked up with chopsticks as it comes by.’
    • ‘Our dinner plates were pushed to the side, and slices of blackberry pie sat in front of us.’
    • ‘When dinner had ended, I scraped the food from my plate back into the dish, and I handed Nathaniel my dish.’
    • ‘I did get a bit miffed when I found the officers sitting in a cellar eating off china plates.’
    dish, platter, bowl, salver
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1An amount of food on a plate.
      ‘a plate of spaghetti’
      • ‘Unsurprisingly, the classic Islay single malts are as smoky and tarry as they come, and just what a plate of haggis and neeps needs.’
      • ‘A plate of bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil helped ease the pain of a 40-minute wait for the first course, as did our bottle of decent Argentinian Malbec.’
      • ‘On a warm day, heaven is a bottle of chilled wine, a plate of seafood, and a table with a view.’
      • ‘A glass of Indian whisky and a plate of palak paneer - a dish of spinach and cottage cheese - are at his side. We relax under a fine crescent moon.’
      • ‘One day, Chris watched an order go out of the kitchen and it was just a plate of smoked salmon and some oysters.’
      • ‘Diners are also given a plate of pork, coriander and bean sprouts to go into the pot and make the soup even more delicious.’
      • ‘He was given what looked like coffee by a friend, and a plate of the red meat and scrambled eggs.’
      • ‘I settled on a chilli-hot fish soup and a plate of grilled prawns with chilli and lime.’
      • ‘She joined her in line and they got a plate of finger foods.’
      • ‘My belly is still in Delhi so I opt for a plate of lovely Basmati rice.’
      • ‘This makes a fine, light summer lunch with a plate of Taleggio or Robbiolo cheese afterwards.’
      • ‘They ordered me a plate of seafood which was very nice of them, but they really shouldn't have bothered.’
      • ‘There, over a plate of chana dal, her faith was rewarded.’
      • ‘Did I imagine the bit where sweat dripped from his jowls onto a plate of food?’
      • ‘Italian and American restaurants usually serve heaping plates of food.’
      • ‘She orders a plate of seafood, but redeems herself by smothering everything with olive oil, and we get down to business.’
      • ‘Ira glances into the kitchen where Dixie is happily preparing him a plate of tuna fish and crackers.’
      • ‘There is a cartoon on the reception desk which depicts Santa, having come down the chimney, looking at a plate of food which has been left out for him.’
      • ‘Not even the arrival of a plate of bresaola with Parmesan and Nunez de Prado olive oil could staunch the flow, and it was a very nice dish.’
      • ‘First, the groom offers the bride a plate of mung beans (symbolizing fertility).’
      plateful, helping, portion, serving, platter
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2North American A main course of a meal, served on one plate.
      ‘he recommended the roast beef plate’
      • ‘Shortly he arrives with the first plate, a bruschetta, which you can tell is something special before it even hits the table.’
      • ‘I chose a salad plate, just because dinner plates seemed really large.’
      • ‘I had the maki appetizer with the salmon as my main course, while my friend went for the salad and the sushi plate.’
      • ‘Pairing pasty quince pancakes with the fat-rich confit turns the plate monotonous halfway through.’
      • ‘They ate their lunch, which consisted of roast beef sandwiches, salad, a fruit plate, and breadsticks.’
      • ‘A great Kyrgyz delicacy reserved especially for guests is a combination plate of fresh sliced sheep liver and slices of sheep tail fat.’
      • ‘Vykal was early but there were a few meal plates that were already prepared.’
      • ‘About that meze plate: the requisite salads and dips here are uniformly attractive.’
      • ‘Modern delicacies like rocket salad and plates of sushi are delightful and delicious.’
      • ‘As she entered the small kitchen she saw the stowaway serving plates of what looked like pasta with white sauce.’
      • ‘Luscious pan-broiled beef shares the plate with a great date of Cabernet-braised short ribs.’
      • ‘From salads to vegetable plates, the Cafe serves up fresh food from local farms Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm.’
      • ‘The promised floral decorations were absent, but we were served a buffet lunch - an unaccompanied plate of beef stroganoff served on a bed of rice.’
    3. 1.3Australian, NZ A plate of food contributed by a guest to a social gathering.
      ‘he was invited to a party and asked to bring a plate’
      • ‘Guests should bring a plate of food and something to sit on.’
      • ‘Tickets can be purchased from the school and families are asked to bring a plate to share for supper.’
      • ‘To avoid the hefty workload, ask each guest to bring a plate of food.’
      • ‘She was outraged because she was asked to bring a plate, emphasising to me.’
      • ‘The ladies put on bacon and egg muffins, a neighbour supplies the tea and coffee and everyone else brings a plate.’
    4. 1.4A dish passed round a church congregation in order to collect donations of money.
      ‘they brought round the collection plates’
      • ‘The money we put in the offering plate enables companion churches to do ministry.’
      • ‘The Hon Rev F J Nile and The Hon G Moyes refrained from passing round the plate for tithes.’
      • ‘Jill plays his fetching daughter in charge of passing the collection plate.’
      • ‘Still, if the church is getting some extra money in the plate, I doubt they mind.’
      • ‘You use your website as both a church and a collection plate.’
      • ‘The logic of that is that inside the church the collection plate should avoid visitors.’
      • ‘All churches had a collection plate for anyone who wished to help through this devastating time. These vicars have always been there in time of joy and at times of grief but we take them for granted.’
      • ‘The collection plate at the church reportedly brought in $100,000 a month.’
      • ‘A collection plate will also be passed around at the mass.’
      • ‘The ushers could start the collection at the back, passing the plates and moving forward.’
      • ‘At the same time bible-based cults may ridicule churches that take up free-will offerings by passing collection plates and/or sell literature and tapes.’
      • ‘Congregations in two Yorkshire dioceses have turned out to be among the most generous in the country when it comes to putting money on the plate at Anglican churches.’
      • ‘She said the funeral was due to take place at 1pm next Wednesday at Pocklington Church, with a plate collection for Leeds General Infirmary.’
      • ‘A collection plate will also be making the rounds during the show, which starts at 1: 30 pm.’
      platter, dish, tray
      View synonyms
    5. 1.5Biology A shallow glass dish on which a culture of cells or microorganisms may be grown.
      ‘a tissue culture plate’
      • ‘As previously described, duplicate plates and nitrocellulose lifts were used to sort the colonies until an individual colony was isolated.’
      • ‘Cells were seeded onto six-well culture plates and allowed to grow to form confluent monolayers.’
      • ‘The test was performed in 96-well cell culture plates.’
      • ‘They have been selected from hundreds of specimens that are grown in the culture plates that fill the lab's shelves.’
      • ‘The tested yeast cultures were grown on plates with complete medium for 1 day.’
      • ‘The microscope first focuses on an internal reference point within the tissue culture plate containing the cells.’
  • 2[mass noun] Dishes, bowls, cups, and other utensils made of gold, silver, or other metal.

    ‘an exhibition of the plate belonging to the college’
    • ‘On the Wednesday afternoon an extended section of plate, silver and jewellery was offered including quite a number of trade entries.’
    • ‘To his granddaughter Elizabeth Hall, all his plate except the bowl left to Judith.’
    • ‘They could melt down the coins and convert the monetary metals into jewelry and plate, or have them exported along with new gold and silver from the mines.’
    • ‘Here are 68 of their more than 100 known Silver Plate flatware patterns.’
    • ‘I was forgetting the silver plate. What is the value of that which I have?’
    1. 2.1[count noun]A silver or gold dish or trophy awarded as a prize in a race or competition.
      ‘she lifted the plate in victory’
      • ‘Unfortunately, none of the Pritchard family members seemed to know exactly what had happened to the framed metal plate.’
      • ‘The side put an end to the Kiwis' winning ways in Australia, however, when they won the Cup final, having previously lifted the Plate in Wellington.’
      • ‘On closer examination, it appeared to be an award - the year 1997 was inscribed on a metal plate set at its base.’
      • ‘After winning the Plate three weeks later, Melnyk dramatically increased his commitment to the game to the point where he is a player at the sport's highest level.’
      • ‘As customary they will both get their names on the monthly medal board and be eligible for the Gold final, but Terry won the plate on a count back.’
    2. 2.2[in names]A race or competition in which a silver or gold dish or trophy is awarded.
      ‘the final of the Ladies' Plate at Henley’
      • ‘Sixteen teams will compete in the group stages on Saturday, with the bowl, plate and finals to take place the following day.’
      • ‘To their surprise the team won the plate award and now proudly possess their first trophy.’
      • ‘His victory in the most recent plate race is a sterling example.’
      • ‘Naas now go forward to play in the plate competition, the final of which they reached two seasons ago with this team, narrowly losing on that occasion to Skerries.’
      • ‘Hounslow's Rhenu Khuttan won the girls badminton plate competition and Sandeep Gupta was narrowly defeated in the boys quarter-finals.’
  • 3A 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’
    • ‘As a result of an accident, Blom has two steel plates in his back, which activate the metal detectors.’
    • ‘The steeply sloping reef was covered in a jumble of steel hawser, deck plates, twisted girder and hand-rail.’
    • ‘Miss Simpson suffered head and pelvic injuries and needed an operation to insert steel plates into her right arm.’
    • ‘Because of the metal plate, Paul is going to have to learn to walk again, because one of his legs will be longer than the other.’
    • ‘Properties of wrought products depend to some extent on the quality of the ingot from which they were made, especially thick plates or strip made from thin castings.’
    • ‘Tap shoes have thin metal plates, usually made of aluminium, screwed onto the sole and heel, allowing dancers to create percussive effects as they move.’
    • ‘At one stage he raced with metal plates in both knees and 28 screws in his legs and left wrist.’
    • ‘Mrs Southworth, who has had a metal pin and plate inserted into her foot, is on crutches and will not be able to walk unaided for many months.’
    • ‘He explained the first task would be to join the bones with metal plates and then start reattaching muscles and tendons, working from the inside out.’
    • ‘From the patient's view, the position, the pressure of the plates and how the machine looks are all nearly the same as the standard mammography machine.’
    • ‘Yesterday he underwent surgery to insert a metal plate into his face.’
    • ‘The four wheels and the metal plate on a roller skate are much heavier than the single blade on an ice skate.’
    • ‘He said that Army supply officials had given the unit 70 tons of steel plates to attach to their vehicles, but that it was not enough.’
    • ‘Mr Thomas said the sales rep suffered a broken jawbone, leaving him with a permanent metal plate to repair the damage.’
    • ‘Damping is incorporated in the rear line of columns in the form of sheets of visco-elastic material clamped between steel plates.’
    • ‘She spent two days in hospital and had a metal plate inserted in her face.’
    • ‘Windows, glass block, and steel plates, rails, and columns were installed throughout the market.’
    • ‘During the trial he became so fearful of assassination that he had steel plates sewn into his hat.’
    • ‘The St Gabriel's High School pupil has had nine pins and a nine-inch long metal plate inserted into his leg and spent a week in Fairfield Hospital.’
    • ‘Once trained, they go on to produce face parts for burns and cancer victims as well as steel plates for patients undergoing brain surgery.’
    panel, sheet, layer, lamina, leaf, pane, slab
    View synonyms
    1. 3.1A small, flat piece of metal or other material bearing a name or inscription and attached to a door or other object.
      ‘a discreet brass plate announced William Marsden, RA’
      • ‘I untied the red bandana from his neck and replaced it with the worn leather collar that had its name engraved in a brass plate should the hound ever get lost.’
      • ‘The first thing in view was the old, rusty, metal plate saying ‘Clenverry station’.’
      • ‘Engraved on a metal plate next to the door was the name Entertainment Room.’
      • ‘Inside the coffin was a brass plate inscribed, ‘Founder of Adelaide’.’
      • ‘The commercial department is seeking a sponsor for the plate and the cost is £200 plus VAT.’
      • ‘It is a brass plate inscribed with the name of a passenger on the ship, Colonel Edward James.’
      • ‘They walked back to the simple metal plate set in the ground.’
      • ‘The only thing that distinguished it from the rest was that there was a different number on the steel plate attached to the door.’
      • ‘Every tree will have a metal plate with its reference number so it can be identified.’
      • ‘The walkways were tiled in red brick with names of contributors to numerous local charities in a brass plate screwed into the top.’
      • ‘I also had my own stall now with a brass plate on the stall door with my name.’
      • ‘One of those artefacts was a pewter plate inscribed with the name Matute.’
      • ‘At the far end of the courtyard is a red door with a glass window and, on a wall to one side, is a brass plate announcing the department in a clearer and more elegant fashion.’
      • ‘It is hoped that the plate, bearing the name Conyngham Hall, could fetch up to £10,000 when sold later this year.’
      • ‘A plate on the door announced that Headmaster Denton resided behind these doors.’
      • ‘Every tree will have a metal plate with its number so owners can identify it.’
      • ‘The Stations of the Cross cost £55 each and all donated by donors whose names are recorded on the brass plate.’
      • ‘Not far from the stairs they stopped in front of a wooden door with Sania's initials on a metal plate.’
      • ‘To begin with, they are now planning to unveil a memorial plate with 460 names on it.’
      • ‘John Lowing, of Southend, stood beside one of the company's latest trains as the plate bearing his name on the carriage side was unveiled.’
      plaque, nameplate, door plate, tablet, sign, brass, medallion, plaquette, cartouche
      View synonyms
    2. 3.2
      ‘the car had German plates’
      short for number plate
      • ‘The couple believe the vandals knew their identity, even though the couple's car had Irish plates.’
      • ‘Even having to make the two-hour drive to these cities for the yearly examination is well worth the trouble because of the savings made on the cost of the plate.’
      • ‘By December 1, 2005, all trucks and trailers of more than 10 tons must also have new plates and registration documents.’
      • ‘You can only have a plate which is the same age as or older than the car.’
      • ‘It is thought another motorist has cloned the plate to try to escape the £5-a-day congestion charge.’
    3. 3.3Baseball
      short for home plate
      • ‘Lamb is not a strong defensive player, so he has to be productive at the plate to contribute significantly.’
      • ‘The Sox came up with one in the bottom of the inning and Passeau was still going strong when we came to the plate in the eleventh inning.’
      • ‘When Giusti fired his next palmball over the plate, Powell decided to take a rip.’
      • ‘Manny Ramirez comes to bat and lines a pitch on the outside part of the plate to right field for a single.’
      • ‘After the Yankees put two men on base to start their half of the sixth inning, Yogi Berra came strolling to the plate.’
    4. 3.4A horizontal timber laid along the top of a wall to support the ends of joists or rafters.
      • ‘The mounting plate of the brace is attached to the masonry and a backing plate with wall ties.’
      • ‘Place them with your wall top plates to do the wall layout.’
      • ‘You can cover their plates by tucking the wallpaper into the wall and replacing the cover.’
      • ‘It was Dr. Lawless's evidence that he does not know whether it was at that time that he mentioned the cutting of the support plates from the beams.’
      • ‘The plate further includes a horizontal reference line that intersects the reference center point.’
      • ‘Side walls and wainscotting plates and accessories such as moldings, cornices, coves and miters are also available.’
      • ‘Insulation blown into your ceiling cavities should cover the top plate of the wall, but be sure the eave vents are not covered.’
      • ‘If your building perpendicular to an existing wall, lay the 2x4 plates next to each other and flush the ends.’
      • ‘The slab is designed as a continuous plate supported by the floor beams and edge girders.’
      • ‘Alternatively, the insulation can be fastened to the sill plate and draped down the wall.’
      • ‘Screw the plate rails to the wall, leaving 12 inches between each rail.’
      • ‘It works best if two people can nail - one at the top plate and one at the bottom plate - to prevent the wall from jumping around.’
      • ‘The space between floors, the sub-floor, rim joist, and plates is also sealed.’
    5. 3.5A light horseshoe for a racehorse.
      • ‘99% of forelimb horseshoes were aluminum racing plates, 35% had a pad, 23% had a rim, and 8% had a heel.’
      • ‘The practice of nailing iron plates or rim-shoes to the hoof does not appear to have been introduced earlier than the 2nd century B.C.’
  • 4Botany Zoology
    A thin, flat organic structure or formation.

    ‘the fused bony plates protect the tortoise's soft parts’
    • ‘The neural and costal plates of the dorsal disk form as the outgrowths of these endoskeletal bones on inside the dermis.’
    • ‘Their skin is covered with non-overlapping scales composed of the protein keratin and often studded with bony plates called scutes.’
    • ‘Thus, we may model the shoulder and hip girdles of plesiosaurs as if they were broad, flat bony plates with limb joints on opposite edges.’
    • ‘The carapace is closed behind the dorsal fin; bony plates surround the entire dorsal fin base.’
    • ‘The sheath of thin bony plates extends beyond the head to form spines dorsally and ventrally.’
  • 5Geology
    Each of the several rigid pieces of the earth's lithosphere which together make up the earth's surface.

    ‘the Pacific Ocean plate’
    See also plate tectonics.
    • ‘Like all the seafloor, they are created at midocean ridges, where two plates diverge and hot lava wells up from the underlying mantle.’
    • ‘Like many features on the Earth's surface, plates change over time.’
    • ‘Particularly important for British landscape development was rifting of the Greenland-European plate in the early Paleocene.’
    • ‘Most of the rock formations have been metamorphosed, folded, and faulted during the fragmentation and collision of plates of the earth's crust.’
    • ‘As new seafloor forms, the earth's tectonic plates move apart in opposite directions at these spreading centers.’
  • 6A sheet of metal, plastic, or other material bearing an image of type or illustrations from which multiple copies are printed.

    ‘the correct alignment of the plates in four-colour printing’
    • ‘The soft velvety quality of the lines and the glowing light suggest that this one and others may have been printed before the plate was steel-faced.’
    • ‘It's not designed to defend against the professional counterfeiters, with their counterfeit plates and special paper.’
    • ‘He designed and engraved the plates for the first paper money in Massachusetts and established the first mill for rolling copper sheets.’
    • ‘Printing plates had traditionally been etched with platinum chloride, an expensive and limited chemical.’
    • ‘Leo Lariviere drew the map and Mary Taylor made the plate of photographs from colour slides.’
    • ‘Here a trio of music boxes holds the clues to finding the plates to print very real bank notes, with a group of criminals willing to kill for them.’
    • ‘The prints made from such a plate are of necessity mirror images of the original drawings.’
    • ‘We had already made the metal plates up at the printers ready to roll the presses.’
    • ‘The artist comes to examine the proof, and, if it meets with his approval, the full edition is printed from the plates.’
    • ‘Students could not wait to get to the process of printing the line drawings from the plate onto the dampened paper.’
    • ‘Then he carefully applies a pre-moistened piece of etching paper to the plate.’
    • ‘The image is drawn or applied to the plate using a greasy substance that will retain the ink or pigment.’
    • ‘But left and right are reversed in an etching, which is made by scratching lines on a metal plate and using the plate to make a print.’
    • ‘The most elegant toile fabrics are still printed using engraved plates or rollers.’
    • ‘One of the most striking pieces uses old printing plates used to print the obituary notices posting news of a death in the neighbourhood.’
    • ‘Grice traced the final illustrations onto metal plates and placed them in a heat vacuum machine to create multiple copies of molded plastic pages.’
    • ‘The bank engraves banknote images into metal plates by hand and uses special inks and watermarks to prevent forgery.’
    1. 6.1A printed photograph, picture, or illustration, especially one on superior-quality paper in a book.
      ‘the book contains sixty colour plates’
      • ‘Vaillant also reproduced his own pictures and some plates are original designs of his own invention: a portrait of his family and two nocturnal landscapes.’
      • ‘All the way through the book there are also some photographic plates from many years ago, showing the costumes of those days, and how the tradition has been maintained.’
      • ‘Twenty six plates containing 104 coloured photographs relevant to the text are clear and of good quality which will be useful in diagnosis of various STDs.’
      • ‘The black and white illustrated plates are impressive and provide adequate detail for field identification and taxonomical purposes.’
      • ‘The book contains 53 plates, reproductions of his watercolor paintings from the places he visited.’
      • ‘The book includes 35 full-color plates of the latest artwork by Filgate, as well as 14 drawings.’
      • ‘However, it does contain excellent photographs in full-colour plates for some of these species.’
      • ‘The book has nearly 450 fine colour plates and will be indispensable for researchers, scientists, bird-watchers and nature lovers.’
      • ‘Certain of the artist's plates, pictures and engravings had been sold in 1858 for £2,500.’
      • ‘She does reproduce some of his more subversive etchings, although as plates, rather than prints.’
      • ‘The book is fully illustrated with 30 colour plates, over 350 black and white photographs and illustrations, and eight plans.’
      • ‘After the lead-in, the rest of the book consists of colour plates with extended captions that are as interesting as the photographs themselves.’
      • ‘The book's 395 plates include a wide variety of contemporary depictions of events.’
      • ‘In combination with sixteen plates of illustration he constructs a picture of the rhetorical power of the pope's body in the period, both as fleshly entity and as rhetorical metaphor.’
      • ‘The books contain 606 plates illustrating 92 percent of the 1189 taxa in the keys.’
      • ‘My only criticism would be the incongruousness between references to colour plates and their placement in the book.’
      • ‘Build a theme around the picture or print on the plates and paper goods.’
      • ‘The gap junction can be seen in the introductory plates of this book.’
      • ‘Brown argues his points with excellent colour plates and black and white prints, but I found his semiotic approach to reviewing the literature difficult.’
      • ‘In Cornell's library are her watercolor sketches for the 13 remarkable plates that illustrated the book that changed chemistry.’
      picture, print, illustration, photograph, photo, engraving, lithograph
      View synonyms
    2. 6.2A 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 camera.
      • ‘He replaced them with the brand new plates, then placed all of the loaded plates into his camera.’
      • ‘While getting flash heads ready and the 5x4 plate camera focused, I had the lights under the glass going.’
      • ‘Yet he was amazed to discover that photographic plates wrapped in black paper became imprinted with images of the uranium salt scattered over them when they had been kept for several days in a dark drawer.’
      • ‘While at the Observatory he worked on ways to determine the apparent brightness of stars using photographic plates: -’
      • ‘Roentgen also established the use of photographic plates as a way to take pictures of mysterious rays.’
      • ‘Such waves can hit a receiver, say a photographic plate, and produce an image of the celestial object.’
      • ‘Not even the camera and its glass plate photography could compare with Holmes's panoramas drawn with such meticulous detail.’
      • ‘Many of the images are stored on the archive on the original glass plate films they were developed on.’
      • ‘Unfortunately neither individual waited as I prepared my cumbersome glass plates, so the photo is somewhat lacking.’
      • ‘A hologram is a photographic plate on which information is recorded as a series of density variations.’
      • ‘The print is produced by pressing a dampened paper against the plate.’
      • ‘I was brought up when photographic film and especially plates were far too expensive to waste, and when the photographer worked hard to set up and capture a shot with the minimum of exposures.’
      • ‘If it were not for George Eastman, we would probably still be hiding under black cloths while putting sensitized glass plates into the back of our rosewood cameras.’
      • ‘Since the daguerreotype plate negative was transformed into the final, fixed image, like a painting, it was unique and irreplaceable.’
      • ‘He was able to get quality source images under harrowing circumstances where most of us would scarcely be capable of operating a camera, let alone a cumbersome plate camera on a tripod.’
      • ‘Although not trained in astronomy, she quickly showed a unique proficiency in analyzing photographic plates.’
      • ‘Her most recent work was photographed with the antiquated collodion process using glass plates.’
      • ‘This is one of the earliest forms of photography, using glass plates and light-sensitive paper.’
      • ‘Some of these were made not simply without lenses but without a camera at all - rather by the direct manipulation of photographic plates.’
      • ‘Against moonlight on the back of my windows, as on photographic plates, appear the silhouettes of salamanders, perhaps a dozen of them, facing this way and that.’
  • 7A thin piece of plastic moulded to the shape of a person's mouth and gums, to which artificial teeth or another orthodontic appliance are attached.

    • ‘This technique utilizes a bite plate, which is a painless dental impression that fixes to the upper teeth.’
    • ‘The officers cracked his dental plate and loosened his teeth.’
    • ‘Sometimes dental plates can be used to seal the palate and help the baby feed better.’
    • ‘Sometimes, special dental plates can be used to seal the roof of the mouth to help the baby suckle milk better.’
    • ‘Like anyone of my generation, I guess, I have an absolute horror of false teeth, dental plates, dentures (there I said it).’
    • ‘The mean area per plaque on an individual plate corresponds to one measure in the distributions of lineage fitness.’
    1. 7.1informal A complete denture or orthodontic appliance.
      • ‘My plates are 10 years old and I still have to pry the top plate out every day to remove them, the fit is that good.’
      • ‘The Buttershaw High School pupil spent nearly two months in hospital and now has wires in his ankle, plates and screws in his upper legs and a plate in his mouth.’
      • ‘When I was done, my speech was normal, and my plates did not pop out.’
  • 8A thin piece of metal that acts as an electrode in a capacitor, battery, or cell.

    • ‘You can increase the capacitance of a capacitor by making the plates larger.’
    • ‘Applying a voltage between the electrodes and the mobile plate actuates the mirror.’
    • ‘Replace yellowed light switch and electrical outlet plates with new ones.’
    • ‘The momentary high voltage on the metal plate provides the necessary energy to ionize the xenon gas, making the gas conductive.’
    • ‘The tank circuit is a tightly wrapped coil of wire that is connected at each end to a capacitor - two metal plates separated by an insulator.’
    • ‘The Daniell cell is a wet cell consisting of copper and zinc plates and copper and zinc sulphates.’
    • ‘A second problem is damage caused by the buildup of excessive electrical charges in the plate from the unwanted ions.’
    • ‘The dielectric constant of a substance is the ratio of the capacitance of a pair of condenser plates with the substance between it and the capacitance of the plates in a vacuum.’
    • ‘Capacitance is a property best illustrated by two metal plates separated by an insulator (which we call a capacitor).’
    • ‘The program will build on a cell stack architecture of alternating flat cells and gas distribution plates invented for NASA.’
    • ‘Conductive material is deposited over the substrate and into the capacitor cell plate pattern.’
    • ‘As the battery discharges, both plates build up PbSO4 (lead sulfate), and water builds up in the acid.’
    1. 8.1North American The anode of a thermionic valve.
      • ‘The result is a flow of electrons from filament to plate.’
      • ‘Since the flow of electrons from filament to anode or plate can be varied by applying potential variations to the grid, the circuit in which this tube is used consists of two branches.’


  • 1Cover (a metal object) with a thin coating of a different metal.

    • ‘With titanium bolts, the locknuts are plated with rhodium or silver to prevent galling and seizing of the nut to the bolt.’
    • ‘The frames are generally chrome plated metal (metal being whatever alloy they make glasses out of).’
    • ‘Other plated metals include nickel, copper, and gold.’
    • ‘Lithium metal may also be plated out as crystalline dendrites that ultimately penetrate the separator and cause an internal short-circuit of the cell.’
    • ‘The mowers feature a heavy-duty gearbox, plated jackshafts to reduce rust, cast hubs on tires and wheels, high-strength tongue-to-mainframe bracing, and a heavy synchronizing rod.’
    • ‘The nickel is plated on the alloy or steel by using heat and chemistry.’
    • ‘I vowed then someday I would own one just like it because, you see, it was nickel plated and engraved.’
    • ‘The cooling block is made of copper, with a nickel plating.’
    • ‘The pins and sockets are fabricated from annealed beryllium - copper and are spring-tension controlled before being plated with nickel and gold.’
    • ‘The hitch is formed from 3-inch channel iron and plated on each side for strength.’
    • ‘The hardness of shot is controlled by the amount of antimony added at the time of manufacture and by plating the shot with nickel or copper.’
    • ‘They are also usually made of metal that is chrome plated so that they never rust and can remain in the wig while it is being shampooed or styled.’
    • ‘Finished components can be conventionally plated with tin, nickel, semiprecious metals, or precious metals.’
    • ‘One solution is to plate the aluminum polygon with electroless nickel and then polish the nickel surface.’
    • ‘Magnesium, titanium, zirconium, niobium, tantalum, molybdenum and tungsten may be soldered if they are plated with a solderable metal coating such as silver.’
    • ‘Although I've seen no reference to it, the bolt parts appear to be nickel or chrome plated.’
    • ‘Once machined into their final shape, the plutonium parts were plated with nickel and removed from the glove box system.’
    • ‘Vapor phase coatings differ from platings in that it is well nigh impossible to plate aluminum or aluminum alloys from an aqueous bath.’
    1. 1.1Cover (an object) with plates of metal for decoration, protection, or strength.
      ‘the ship is plated in the bows with steel eighteen millimetres thick’
      • ‘The bow was plated with metal so it could handle that, but the ship had never been designed as an icebreaker.’
      • ‘Manganese and silicon may be present as impurities in the remelt; chromium and nickel are often seen when plated scrap is remelted.’
      • ‘The ball was very hard for it was plated in a very thin layer of metal.’
      • ‘Current practice calls for the parts to be plated with zinc, and then dipped in a chromic acid solution.’
      • ‘Some knights were cited as wearing mail gloves under their plated gauntlets for added strength.’
      • ‘These chemicals may then plate the metal instruments, the pan, and the sterilizer walls.’
      • ‘Two large ships, plated with the same grey metal, lay at anchor inside the calm area behind the massive breakwater defences, while others listed and rolled in the water, on the verge of capsizing.’
      • ‘The volume was plated with a thin layer of beaten gold, and a row of high-quality garnets traced up its spine.’
      • ‘These include royal standards in the form of animal figures plated in precious metals, and a range of weapons, jewellery, and vessels in precious metal.’
      • ‘A couple of fire escapes and metal plated doors pocked the otherwise blank wall.’
      • ‘His copy was plated in nickel, with a long smoke-like design of inlaid onyx along the right side of the barrel, and a carved wooden grip.’
      • ‘After electroplating, plated parts are transferred from the plating barrel to coating centers (perforated baskets) located under the electroplating system.’
      • ‘It was the same as all the others, except for the metal numbers plated in the upper part.’
      • ‘The entire heatsink is plated in silver, and it looks absolutely stunning.’
      • ‘The cartridge anodes are preferably plated with a mixed metal oxide such as iridium oxide and ruthenium oxide to catalytically improve the production of oxygen.’
      cover, coat, overlay, laminate, veneer
      electroplate, anodize, galvanize, gild, platinize, silver, tin, nickel
      View synonyms
  • 2Serve or arrange (food) on a plate or plates.

    ‘overcooked vegetables won't look appetizing, no matter how they are plated’
    • ‘Easy to make (less than 30 minutes from pouring the water into the stock pot to plating the dish), it fits quite nicely into a weekday menu.’
    • ‘The food is plated with the minimum of fuss and a background is chosen.’
    • ‘Our evening began with a tour of the bustling kitchen, where the students were hard at work in their chef's whites, plating salads and hefting deep pans of chive gnocchi.’
    • ‘Later, I stand in the tiny kitchen through lunch service, watching his brigade of intense young men and women, cooking and plating his food.’
    • ‘If you're at the chef's table in the kitchen, they get you preparing courses: I ended up plating the dishes.’
    • ‘Their cuisine is inventive, and revolves around basic ingredients, interesting combinations, unusual flavors, and beautiful plating on chic but simple plates.’
    • ‘He noted that most Chinese food is plated in such a way that knives aren't necessary for the diner.’
    • ‘I became reasonably good at coordinating the timing and plating the food attractively.’
    • ‘She plated the sauces and the cooked fruits ahead of time, and loaded the readied plates onto the sheet pans.’
    • ‘Watching the chefs at work was fascinating too although I was a bit taken aback to note that they lick their fingers and serving spoons as they plate up the food.’
    • ‘Towers of individually plated food may impress in a restaurant, but only a fool would try that at home.’
    • ‘‘There are a lot of mechanics involved in the kitchen, from choosing the produce to plating the dishes,’ Portale clarifies.’
    • ‘As you plate the swordfish, partially cover it with a spoonful or two of the hot salsa, and garnish with a large sprig of flat-leaf parsley or coriander.’
    • ‘They can watch as the cooks season, poke, sear, taste, and plate their food.’
    • ‘There must be some better way to communicate with the kitchen so I take it to be an affectation, the other one being that although the food is already plated up when it arrives, it is served from a foldaway side table.’
    • ‘Waitresses kept taking out pies and putting them on the counter next to me while they plated a slice. ‘This is the worst seat in the whole restaurant,’ my waitress apologized.’
    • ‘‘At work, I think,’ I reply, plating some makeshift pasta and meatballs together.’
    • ‘The tiny peppers are blistered first on one side, then the other, before being salted and plated for serving.’
    • ‘I became adept at cutting and plating these desserts for two so that they were sized for one and still looked appealing.’
    • ‘If you want to serve them, pre-slice and plate them before placing them on your table.’
    dish out, dish up, give out, distribute, set out, plate up, spoon out, ladle out
    View synonyms
  • 3Baseball
    Score or cause to score (a run or runs)

    ‘Matt Wignot plated two of Clarkson's runs’
    • ‘The Yanks plated three more runs on the Sox relievers, making the final 11-1.’
    • ‘In an intra-squad game he had doubled to plate a pair of runners.’
    • ‘On July 12, Gibson gave up just three hits in a win over Houston, but one was Denis Menke's seventh-inning blooper that landed just inside the left field foul line and plated a run.’
    • ‘In Milwaukee, John Vander Wal's first-inning double plated the deciding runs as the Brewers drubbed the St. Louis Cardinals 6-1.’
    • ‘Mostly, it was bad defense that helped plate a total of seven runs, as the two squads combined for three costly errors.’
  • 4Biology
    Inoculate (cells or infective material) on to a culture plate, especially with the object of isolating a particular strain of microorganisms or estimating viable cell numbers.

    • ‘Cells were plated on sterile coverslips placed in 60 mm culture dishes, using the same suspension density as the one used in the MTS assay.’
    • ‘The transformants were plated on YPD-G418 plates to select for the fusion.’
    • ‘For AFM experiments, the cells were plated on presterilized coverslips a day before data were taken.’
    • ‘COS cells were plated on coverglasses 4 h before transfection.’
    • ‘Samples of 2.5x10 cells were also plated from exponentially growing cultures as control samples.’


  • on a plate

    • informal Used to indicate that something has been achieved with little or no effort.

      ‘I didn't have all this handed to me on a plate’
      • ‘I handed you all, on a plate, an opportunity to get some points and most of you couldn't think of anything to write about.’
      • ‘His quality run and cross put the goal on a plate for El-Hadji Diouf.’
      • ‘I once had a fantastic job offered to me on a plate and I turned it down.’
      • ‘The whole side looked subdued, especially when it became clear the pitch wasn't going to serve up wickets on a plate.’
      • ‘So if he's in a happy relationship and some woman offers herself on a plate to him, what's his answer?’
      • ‘You find your own Paris - don't expect it to be handed to you on a plate.’
      • ‘But get a run of successes and every decent project in town is offered to you on a plate.’
      • ‘Jamie, hitherto the one who has had life handed to him on a plate only to throw it back like a petulant toddler, becomes as much a victim as Ian.’
      • ‘No one, absolutely no one is going to hand us a living on a plate.’
      • ‘Its theme parks offer entertainment on a plate, a world away from the city grime and spring showers of the UK.’
  • on one's plate

    • Occupying one's time or energy.

      ‘you've got a lot on your plate at the moment’
      • ‘The jury hearing evidence against him must have a lot on their plate.’
      • ‘Forbes came from a troubled background, had quite a lot on her plate with two children, had moved away from her family and had to count on friends.’
      • ‘Because I shall have quite a lot on my plate when I'm out there.’
      • ‘You came straight out of school into TV writing, and you've had a lot of projects on your plate ever since.’
      • ‘I tried to lose to Vanessa, as the darling girl has rather a lot on her plate at the moment.’
      • ‘Whoever takes over is going to have a lot on their plate.’
      • ‘Being a mum-of-four, a part-time French teacher and an active member of her church, Sally Wheeler had rather a lot on her plate in 1994.’
      • ‘It took me three or four weeks to realise how depressed he was, and the fact that he wasn't doing anything about it - as you may remember, I had a lot on my plate back then too.’
      • ‘They've got a lot of other things on their plate.’
      • ‘India have a lot on their plate as they move to Sri Lanka for the triangular series.’
  • plates of meat

    • rhyming slang A person's feet.

      • ‘So peel off those manky trainers and get something fresh and funky on your plates of meat.’
      • ‘His size 12 plates of meat posed a problem for his girlfriend as she scoured the city for riding boots.’
      • ‘Oliver explained: ‘These days most Londoners know that plates, as in plates of meat, mean feet.’’
      • ‘In spite of my plates of meat agony - I just had to have a bit of a walk.’
      tootsie, trotter
      View synonyms


Middle English (denoting a flat, thin sheet, usually of metal): from Old French, from medieval Latin plata plate armour, based on Greek platus flat. plate represents Old French plat platter, large dish, also dish of meat, noun use of Old French plat flat.