plank

Definitions

General English

Construction

  • A piece of lumber two or more inches thick and six or more inches wide, designed to be laid flat as part of a load-bearing surface, such as a bridge deck.

Food

  • A well-seasoned hardwood board usually with a groove or gutter to catch juices cut into the surface around the outer edge. The plank is warmed, oiled and used to serve and sometimes to grill and serve meat or fish dishes.

Politics

  • noun a main item of policy, or an important aspect of something

Real Estate

  • noun a long flat piece of timber sawn thicker than a board
  • noun a piece of preformed concrete in the shape of a wooden plank, used for construction
  • verb to cover something with planks

Slang

  • noun a dull-witted person, someone who is as ‘thick as two short planks’. The term was used by the late Princess Diana, referring to herself.
  • noun a solid-bodied electric guitar. A musician’s term of the 1980s; playing such a guitar is known as spanking the plank.

Origin & History of “plank”

The etymological idea underlying plank may be ‘flatness’. It comes via planke, a northern dialect version of Old French planche (source of English planchette (19th c.)), from late Latin planca ‘slab’, a derivative of the adjective plancus ‘flat’. this may have come from the same source as Greek pláx ‘flat surface’, ancestor of English placenta.
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