plate(redirected from plates)
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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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
Fig. a full schedule; a lot to do. I'm very busy at work, and I've got a full plate at home too.
have too much on one's plateand 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?
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
have a lot/enough on your platealso 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.
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.
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 under hand to on a silver 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.
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.