Definition of plank in English:

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Pronunciation: /plaNGk/


1A long, thin, flat piece of timber, used especially in building and flooring.
Example sentences
  • As you lay the planks, use a hammer or mallet and a scrap piece of flooring to force the planks tightly together and assure a snug fit.
  • Most of the floors are custom-stained Black American walnut 1/2 inch by six-inch planks from Heartland Flooring.
  • Use plywood walk boards or wooden planks over the ceiling joists for support.
board, floorboard, timber, stave
2A fundamental point of a political or other program: the central plank of the bill is the curb on industrial polluters
More example sentences
  • The SEP's policy to end the war is grounded on the fundamental planks of socialist internationalism.
  • He has been crucial to cementing a close alliance with Washington, which has become the central plank of the political and economic strategy of the most powerful sections of the corporate elite.
  • In the immediate postwar years he, then Labour foreign minister, was a key figure in the creation of Nato, the central plank of US military strategy during the Cold War.
3A physical exercise designed to strengthen the abdominal muscles, in which one performs a press-up and holds the raised position for a set period of time: the session usually include a lot of core work, lunges, planks, and squats
More example sentences
  • Roll right, supporting your torso on your right forearm, raising your hips and stacking your feet so your body forms a plank.
  • The front plank is one of the main exercises I teach my chiropractic patients for strengthening their core region.
  • Perform the plank with your hands, feet or both on an unstable surface such as a gym ball.


[with object]
1Make, provide, or cover with planks: the ship was planked with teak (as adjective planked) the planked floor
More example sentences
  • The walls of the pit would be lined with wooden planks or wattle, and the floor could also be planked.
  • The bed had been made, probably just this morning, but pairs of socks already littered the wide planked, wooden floor, along with a braided rug of browns and beiges.
  • The curved wood ceiling, shuttered wooden windows and rough planked floors lend it a seaworthy air.
2 informal another term for plunk (sense 3 of the verb).
Example sentences
  • Old, but not self consciously so, the Horseshoe Bar has a well-worn wooden counter for planking those weary elbows.
  • He planked a solid header behind him, but it was just a shade offside and the referee was quick with the decision.
  • In 37 minutes, his astute pass left him with just the keeper to beat but the striker contrived to plank his shot against the advancing keeper's legs.


walk the plank

(Formerly) be forced by pirates to walk blindfold along a plank over the side of a ship to one’s death in the sea.
Example sentences
  • They walked me over to the deeper end of the pool like pirates making their prisoner walk the plank.
  • It's to this land, where boys fly, fairies interfere and pirates walk the plank, that Wendy, played by a newcomer, and her two brothers are drawn.
  • I'm always strangely calm before exams - sort of with the dull numbness that comes over the prisoner just before the pirates make him walk the plank.
informal1.1 Lose one’s job or position.
Example sentences
  • Investors both big and small have demanded the CEO also walk the plank over its subdued earnings performance and its disastrous investment forays into Asia.
  • As part of the eviction process, each week the contestant with the least number of votes is forced to walk the plank for their dramatic final exit from the show.
  • There are predictable calls for the senior councillors to ‘do the decent thing’ and walk the plank.


Middle English: from Old Northern French planke, from late Latin planca 'board', feminine (used as a noun) of plancus 'flatfooted'.

  • The word plank ultimately comes from Latin planca ‘a board or slab’. Britons have been calling less bright people planks since the early 1980s, from the phrase as thick as two planks or two short planks, recorded from the previous decade. Walking the plank is a method of execution associated with pirates although there is little evidence that this was done regularly, and most pirates probably just threw their victims overboard.

Words that rhyme with plank

ankh, bank, blank, clank, crank, dank, drank, embank, flank, franc, frank, hank, lank, outflank, outrank, Planck, point-blank, prank, rank, sank, shank, shrank, spank, stank, swank, tank, thank, yank

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plank

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