Etymology
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plate (n.)

mid-13c., "flat sheet of gold or silver," also "flat, round coin," from Old French plate "thin piece of metal" (late 12c.), from Medieval Latin plata "plate, piece of metal," perhaps via Vulgar Latin *plattus, formed on model of Greek platys "flat, broad" (from PIE root *plat- "to spread"). The cognate in Spanish (plata) and Portuguese (prata) has become the usual word for "silver," superseding argento via a shortening of *plata d'argento "plate of silver, coin."

From 14c. as "armor made of sheets of metal." Meaning "table utensils" (originally of silver or gold only) is from Middle English. Meaning "shallow dish on which food is served at table," now usually of china or earthenware, originally of metal or wood, is from mid-15c. Meaning "articles which have been covered with a plating of precious metal" is from 1540s.

In photography, "common rectangular piece of glass used to receive the picture," by 1840. The baseball sense "home base" is from 1857. Geological sense "nearly rigid part of the earth's lithosphere" is attested from 1904; plate tectonics is attested from 1967. Plate-glass for a superior kind of thick glass used for mirrors, shop-windows, etc., is recorded from 1729.

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plate (v.)

"to cover (something) with a layer of metal or mail," late 14c., platen, from plate (n.). Related: Plated.

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face-plate (n.)
"protective cover, shield," 1874, from face (n.) + plate (n.).
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book-plate (n.)
"label indicating ownership, pasted in or on a book," 1791, from book (n.) + plate (n.).
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name-plate (n.)

also nameplate, "plate bearing a person's name," especially one of metal at the door of a residence or place of business, 1823, from name (n.) + plate (n.). Name-board, on the hull of a ship, is from 1846.

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blue-plate (adj.)
in reference to restaurant meals, 1918, from blue (adj.1) + plate (n.). The term arose in the trade, to refer to a complete dinner offered at a reasonable price and served on a single, large plate of a good grade of china.
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armor-plate (n.)

"metallic plate, usually of iron or steel, attached to the side of a ship or the outer wall of a fort to render it shot-proof," 1860, from armor + plate (n.).

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platelet (n.)

"a little plate," originally and especially of the disk-shaped corpuscles in mammalian blood, 1895, formed in English from plate (n.) + diminutive suffix -let.

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copperplate (n.)

also copper-plate, "plate of polished copper, engraved and etched," 1660s, from copper (n.1) + plate (n.).

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electroplate (n.)

"articles coated with silver or other metal by the process of electroplating," 1844, from electro- + plate (n.). As a verb by 1870.

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