1540s, "flat plate of metal," from French plateine, from Old French platine "flat piece, metal plate" (13c.), perhaps altered (by influence of plat "flat") from patene, from Latin patina "pan; broad, shallow dish," from Greek patane "plate, dish" (from PIE root *pete- "to spread"). From 1590s as "the flat part of a press which comes down upon the form and by which the impression is made." Hence, on a typewriter, "cylindrical roller or other surface against which the paper is held" (1890).
1758, originally in a military sense, "to subject to ricochet fire," from French ricochet (n.) "the skipping of a shot, or of a flat stone on water" (see ricochet (n.)). Of the thrown object, "to skip, rebound, bound by touching a flat surface and glancing off," by 1828. Related: Ricochetted; ricochetting. A native dialect word for "throw thin, flat stones so that they skip over the surface of water" is scud (1874).
musical instruction, "softly, with little force or loudness," 1680s, from Italian piano, which is ultimately is from Latin planus "flat, smooth, even," later "soft" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread").
1650s, "flat, insipid" (of drinks), from Latin vapidus "flat, insipid," literally "that has exhaled its vapor," related to vappa "stale wine," and probably to vapor "vapor." Applied from 1758 to talk and writing deemed dull and lifeless. Related: Vapidly; vapidness.
"to follow or trace the footsteps of," 1560s, from track (n.). Meaning "leave a footprint trail in dirt, mud, etc." is from 1838. Of film and TV cameras, 1959. Related: Tracked; tracking.
early 15c., prostraten, "prostrate oneself, fall down flat, bow with the face to the ground" (in humility or submission), from prostrate (adj.). Transitive sense of "throw down, lay flat, overthrow" is by 1560s. Related: Prostrated; prostrating.
"flat-bottomed, square-ended, mastless river boat," c. 1500, perhaps a local survival of late Old English punt, which probably is from British Latin ponto "flat-bottomed boat" (see OED), a kind of Gallic transport (Caesar), also "floating bridge" (Gellius), from Latin pontem (nominative pons) "bridge" (from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go;" see find (v.)). Or from or influenced by Old French cognate pont "large, flat boat." Compare pontoon.
North Korean capital, from Korean p'yong "flat" + yang "land."