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Planks (pieces of timber)


From Middle English plank, planke, borrowed from Old French planke, Old Northern French planque (compare French planche, from Old French planche), from Vulgar Latin *planca, probably from *palanca (ultimately from Latin phalanga) possibly through the influence of planus. The Latin term derives from the Ancient Greek φάλαγξ (phálanx), so it is thus a doublet of phalanx. Compare also the doublet planch, borrowed later from Middle French.



plank (plural planks)

  1. A long, broad and thick piece of timber, as opposed to a board which is less thick.
  2. A political issue that is of concern to a faction or a party of the people and the political position that is taken on that issue.
    Germanization was a central plank of German conservative thinking in the 19th and 20th centuries.
  3. Physical exercise in which one holds a pushup position for a measured length of time.
  4. (Britain, slang) A stupid person, idiot.
  5. That which supports or upholds.
    • Southey
      His charity is a better plank than the faith of an intolerant and bitter-minded bigot.


Derived termsEdit




plank (third-person singular simple present planks, present participle planking, simple past and past participle planked)

  1. (transitive) To cover something with planking.
    to plank a floor or a ship
    • Dryden
      Planked with pine.
  2. (transitive) To bake (fish, etc.) on a piece of cedar lumber.
    • 1998, Richard Gerstell, American Shad in the Susquehanna River Basin (page 147)
      Along the lower river, planked shad dinners (baked and broiled) were highly popular during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
  3. (transitive, colloquial) To lay down, as on a plank or table; to stake or pay cash.
    to plank money in a wager
  4. (transitive) To harden, as hat bodies, by felting.
  5. To splice together the ends of slivers of wool, for subsequent drawing.
  6. (intransitive) To pose for a photograph while lying rigid, face down, arms at side, in an unusual place.




From Old Northern French planke, from Late Latin planca.



plank f (plural planken, diminutive plankje n)

  1. a shelf
  2. a (wooden) plank



plank n

  1. a high wooden fence which completely prevents any seeing-through


Declension of plank 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative plank planket plank planken
Genitive planks plankets planks plankens