Definition of plaque in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /plak/


1An ornamental tablet, typically of metal, porcelain, or wood, that is fixed to a wall or other surface in commemoration of a person or event.
Example sentences
  • The kick off is at 2pm where a plaque to commemorate the event will be unveiled.
  • Commemorative wall plaques and mugs in celebration of 150 years of St. Conleth's Church are available in the Parish Office.
  • The Cincfleet Admiral took the salute and unveiled a plaque to commemorate the event.
plate, tablet, panel, sign, cartouche, brass
2A sticky deposit on teeth in which bacteria proliferate.
Example sentences
  • Pericoronitis - an infection of the soft tissue surrounding the tooth, caused by a build of plaque (a sticky white substance that contains bacteria).
  • Salivary bicarbonate can help protect teeth against attack from acids produced by bacteria in dental plaque.
  • Tooth decay is caused by the bacteria in dental plaque breaking down sugar in the foods and drinks that you eat and drink.
3 Medicine A small, distinct, typically raised patch or region resulting from local damage or deposition of material, such as a fatty deposit on an artery wall in atherosclerosis or a site of localized damage of brain tissue in Alzheimer’s disease.
Example sentences
  • Atherosclerosis, which develops as fatty plaques within arterial walls, underlies both heart attack and stroke.
  • To understand how atherosclerotic plaques become deposited in arteries it is necessary to understand how the highly insoluble cholesterol is moved about the body.
  • High blood cholesterol can lead to deposits of plaques, which narrow your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.
3.1 Microbiology A clear area in a cell culture caused by the inhibition of growth or destruction of cells by an agent such as a virus.
Example sentences
  • Progeny phage that produced clear plaques in the presence of IPTG and X-gal were analyzed by a differential oligonucleotide hybridization technique, as reported.
  • The comparative analysis of the degree of pathogenecity among Indian isolates of WNV in mice, and their plaque size in cell culture were studied 30.
  • The activated PS2-containing integrins are clustered in basal plaques on each cell, but the PS1-containing heterodimers are not.


Mid 19th century: from French, from Dutch plak 'tablet', from plakken 'to stick'.

  • This word comes via French, from Dutch plak ‘tablet’, from plakken ‘to stick’. The notion of ‘sticking’ is often at the word's core, whether referring to an ornamental plaque attached to a wall (mid 19th century), dental plaque clinging to teeth (late 19th century), or in medicine a fatty deposit on an artery wall (late 19th century).

Words that rhyme with plaque

aback, alack, attack, back, black, brack, clack, claque, crack, Dirac, drack, flack, flak, hack, jack, Kazakh, knack, lack, lakh, mac, mach, Nagorno-Karabakh, pack, pitchblack, quack, rack, sac, sack, shack, shellac, slack, smack, snack, stack, tach, tack, thwack, track, vac, wack, whack, wrack, yak, Zack

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plaque

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.