plate

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fashion plate

1. An illustration advertising the newest or most current trends in style and fashion. She had a keener eye for designing attractive fashion plates than for fashion itself.
2. By extension, a person who wears the most stylish and fashionable clothing available. In this moneyed area of town, it's not uncommon to see fashion plates parading themselves along the main streets at any given moment.
See also: fashion, plate

gold-plate

1. Literally, to coat something (usually a base metal) in a thin layer of gold. I just don't understand why you would ever want—let alone need—to gold-plate your bathtub.
2. By extension, to incorporate unnecessary, superfluous, and/or overbearing refinements, additions, or embellishments into something. Congress took what should have been a straightforward clean water initiative and gold-plated it into a cumbersome, overreaching, and wildly impractical mess of a bill. Knowing that the city council would be footing the bill, the architect tried to gold-plate the design for the new courthouse.

hand (something) to (someone) on a plate

To give or relinquish something to someone very easily, without him or her having to work very hard to get or achieve it. The team's defense has been atrocious today, handing a victory to their opponents on a plate. If we can get the government to subsidize our project, we'll have our yearly earnings handed to us on a plate.
See also: hand, on, plate

have enough on (one's) plate

To be sufficiently busy or preoccupied with work, problems, or difficulties as to be unable or unwilling to cope with anything more. I really wish I could help you move this weekend, but I have enough on my plate as it is!
See also: enough, have, on, plate

a lot on (one's) plate

A lot to do. I just have a lot on my plate right now while I'm finishing up my degree and doing this huge project for work.
See also: lot, on, plate

full plate

A schedule or workload that is filled to capacity with obligations, tasks, or problems. I'd love to help you but I have a full plate right now. The new president is certainly going to have a full plate when he gets into office.
See also: full, plate

on (one's) plate

A non-specific way to speak of all the tasks or responsibilities that one must address. I'm sorry I'm late, I just have so much on my plate right now. I'll handle the report—I know you've got a lot on your plate right now with the merger and all.
See also: on, plate

clean (up) one's plate

to eat all the food on one's plate. You have to clean up your plate before you can leave the table. Mom said we can't watch TV tonight unless we clean our plates.
See also: clean, plate

full plate

Fig. a full schedule; a lot to do. I'm very busy at work, and I've got a full plate at home too.
See also: full, plate

have too much on one's plate

 and have a lot on one's plate
Fig. to be too busy. I'm sorry, I just have too much on my plate right now. If you have too much on your plate, can I help?
See also: have, much, on, plate

step up to the plate

 
1. Lit. [for a batter in baseball] to move near home plate in preparation for striking the ball when it is pitched. The batter stepped up to the plate and glared at the pitcher.
2. Fig. to move into a position where one is ready to do a task. It's time for Tom to step up to the plate and take on his share of work.
See also: plate, step, up

a full plate

a lot of work to do or problems to deal with Facing funding cuts and a lawsuit challenging the school's admissions policy, the university's new president has a full plate.
See also: full, plate

step up to the plate

to take responsibility for doing something It is time companies stepped up to the plate and made sure the meat they sell is safe to eat.
Related vocabulary: step in
Etymology: based on the baseball meaning of step up to the plate (move into position to hit the ball)
See also: plate, step, up

somebody's head on a plate/platter

if you want someone's head on a plate you are very angry with them and want them to be punished The director was furious at what had happened and wanted Watt's head on a platter.
See also: head, on, plate

give/hand something to somebody on a plate

to let someone get something very easily, without having to work for it You can't expect everything to be handed to you on a plate - you've got to make a bit of effort.
See also: give, on, plate

have a lot/enough on your plate

  also have your plate full
to have a lot of work to do or a lot of problems to deal with I don't want to burden my daughter with my problems; she's got enough on her plate with her husband in prison. Simon can't take on any more work. He's got his plate full as it is.
See also: have, lot, on, plate

hand to on a silver platter

Also, serve up on a plate. Provide with something valuable for nothing, or give an unearned reward to; also, make it easy for. For example, She did no work at all, expecting to have everything handed to her on a silver platter, or Just ask them-they'll serve up the data on a plate. Both terms allude to being elaborately served at the table. [Early 1900s] Also see born with a silver spoon.
See also: hand, on, platter, silver

have a lot on one's plate

Also, have too much on one's plate. Have a great deal (or too much) to cope with, as in What with the new baby and the new house, they have a lot on their plate, or I can't take that on now; I've got too much on my plate already. This expression transfers a loaded or overloaded dinner plate to other activities. [First half of 1900s]
See also: have, lot, on, plate

platter

platter

1. and plate n. home base or home plate in baseball. (Usually with the.) The batter stepped up to the platter.
2. n. a phonograph record. (Old but still heard.) They call it a “platter” because it looks like a serving platter.

plate

verb

step up to the plate

phr. to voluntarily assume responsibility for something. (From baseball, referring to a batter approaching home plate.) The company stepped up to the plate and paid for the time and effort I spent repairing the unit.
See also: plate, step, up
References in classic literature ?
Nay, good master," quoth he, "if thou thinkest the Sheriff gave us not the plate, I will fetch him, that he may tell us with his own lips he giveth it all to us.
In one well-marked instance, I put the comb back into the hive, and allowed the bees to go on working for a short time, and again examined the cell, and I found that the rhombic plate had been completed, and had become perfectly flat: it was absolutely impossible, from the extreme thinness of the little rhombic plate, that they could have effected this by gnawing away the convex side; and I suspect that the bees in such cases stand in the opposed cells and push and bend the ductile and warm wax (which as I have tried is easily done) into its proper intermediate plane, and thus flatten it.
He put the plates down on a sideboard, stuffed the silver in his breast pocket, giving it a bulgy look, and ran like a hare (I heard him coming) till he came to the cloak room.
With one accord, all eyes left the plates and settled on her.
I will direct some of my servants to convey the plate to your house.
He could not afford a model but painted still life, and Lawson constantly talked of a plate of apples which he declared was a masterpiece.
That plate - the prisoner has written something on it, has he not?
I am quite of your opinion," replied Nicholas, flaming up, turning his plate round and moving his wineglasses about with as much decision and desperation as though he were at that moment facing some great danger.
Please pass the plate for me, and you shall have one fourth.
At the first shot Dutchy sank upon the table, overturning his mug of coffee, his yellow mop of hair dabbling in his plate of mush.
Launce, devouring his breakfast, instantly looked up from his plate, and then, at a second touch from Natalie, looked down again in a violent hurry.
A photographic plate exposed on a clear night reproduces the appearance of the portion of the sky concerned, with more or fewer stars according to the power of the telescope that is being used.
Hammerdown will sell by the orders of Diogenes' assignees, or will be instructed by the executors, to offer to public competition, the library, furniture, plate, wardrobe, and choice cellar of wines of Epicurus deceased.
As to the small parcel of plate and spoons, I had found means to dispose of them myself before; and as for the childbed-linen I had, she offered me to take it herself, believing it to have been my own.
Hideous solidity was the characteristic of the Podsnap plate.