a long, flat piece of timber, thicker than a board.
lumber in such pieces; planking.
something to stand on or to cling to for support.
any one of the stated principles or objectives comprising the political platform of a party campaigning for election: They fought for a plank supporting a nuclear freeze.
verb (used with object)
to lay, cover, or furnish with planks.
to bake or broil and serve (steak, fish, chicken, etc.) on a wooden board.
plunk ( def 2 ).
walk the plank,
to be forced, as by pirates, to walk to one's death by stepping off a plank extending from the ship's side over the water.
to relinquish something, as a position, office, etc., under compulsion: We suspect that the new vice-president walked the plank because of a personality clash.

1275–1325; Middle English planke < Old North French < Latin planca board, plank. See planch

plankless, adjective
planklike, adjective
unplanked, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
plank1 (plæŋk)
1.  a stout length of sawn timber
2.  something that supports or sustains
3.  one of the policies in a political party's programme
4.  walk the plank to be forced by pirates to walk to one's death off the end of a plank jutting out over the water from the side of a ship
5.  slang (Brit) a stupid person; idiot
6.  to cover or provide (an area) with planks
7.  to beat (meat) to make it tender
8.  chiefly (US), (Canadian) to cook or serve (meat or fish) on a special wooden board
[C13: from Old Norman French planke, from Late Latin planca board, from plancus flat-footed; probably related to Greek plax flat surface]

plank2 (plæŋk)
(Scot) (tr) to hide; cache
[C19: a variant of plant]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1206, from O.N.Fr. planke (O.Fr. planche) "plank, slab, little wooden bridge," from L.L. planca "broad slab, board," related to phalanga "pole to carry burdens," from Gk. phalange (see phalanx). Technically, timber sawed to measure 2 to 6 inches thick, 9 inches or more wide,
and 8 feet or more long. Political sense of "item of a party platform" is U.S. coinage from 1848. To walk the plank, supposedly a pirate punishment, is first attested 1822 in Scott.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see walk the plank.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
But it rose again, with license plates for wallpaper and faded buoys hanging
  plank to plank.
Mingle tastes from the forest and the sea by grilling fresh salmon on a cedar
Emerging markets' trade problems have been worsened by shifts in capital flows,
  globalisation's second big plank.
Fish of the day are stuffed with herbs and roasted on a cedar plank.
Idioms & Phrases
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