Definition of plateau in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈplatəʊ/

noun (plural plateaux /ˈplatəʊz/ or plateaus)

1An area of fairly level high ground.
Example sentences
  • The Khmer Loeu hill tribes live in remote highland areas in the plateaus and mountainous areas on the edges of Cambodia.
  • This soil region is in the foothills of the Appalachian plateau, and topography ranges from nearly level to extremely steep.
  • Lowlands, plateaux, foothills, and mountain slopes suitable for viticulture occupy only seven per cent of Tajikistan's area.
upland, tableland, elevated plain, mesa, highland, table
1.1 [as modifier] Denoting a group of American Indian peoples of the high plains of western Canada and the US, including the Nez Percé.
2A state of little or no change following a period of activity or progress: the peace process had reached a plateau
More example sentences
  • Musically, Brown reached a plateau in the early 1970s when his band, the JBs, patented a muscular, jazzy funk, over which the group's leader could exhort and exclaim.
  • For the past 10 years before that, HIV and AIDS rates in Australia were going down, then they reached a plateau and now we've seen sharp rises.
  • Women's wellbeing reached a plateau between the ages of 30 and 64, while that of men dipped during the same period, according to the survey.
level, stage;
period of little change, quiescent period, levelling-off period;
let-up, break, respite, lull

verb (plateaus, plateauing, plateaued)

[no object]
Reach a state of little or no change after a period of activity or progress: the industry’s problems have plateaued out
More example sentences
  • I think they have plateaued - they are not making progress.
  • As your body begins to accommodate to the plan, providing new stimulation (in the form of supplements) every two weeks will help prevent you from plateauing and help you keep growing for a longer period of time.
  • Technological progress with desktop computers and office software has plateaued in recent years, with little eye-opening innovation.


Late 18th century: from French, from Old French platel, diminutive of plat 'level'.

Words that rhyme with plateau

bateau, chateau, gateau, gelato

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: plat|eau

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