[pla-toh or, esp. British, plat-oh]
noun, plural plateaus, plateaux [pla-tohz or, esp. British, plat-ohz] .
a land area having a relatively level surface considerably raised above adjoining land on at least one side, and often cut by deep canyons.
a period or state of little or no growth or decline: to reach a plateau in one's career.
Psychology. a period of little or no apparent progress in an individual's learning, marked by an inability to increase speed, reduce number of errors, etc., and indicated by a horizontal stretch in a learning curve or graph.
a flat stand, as for a centerpiece, sometimes extending the full length of a table.
verb (used without object), plateaued, plateauing.
to reach a state or level of little or no growth or decline, especially to stop increasing or progressing; remain at a stable level of achievement; level off: After a period of uninterrupted growth, sales began to plateau.
verb (used with object), plateaued, plateauing.
to cause to remain at a stable level, especially to prevent from rising or progressing: Rising inflation plateaued sales income.

1785–95; < French; Old French platel flat object, diminutive of plat plate1 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
plateau (ˈplætəʊ)
n , pl -eaus, -eaux
1.  a wide mainly level area of elevated land
2.  a relatively long period of stability; levelling off: the rising prices reached a plateau
3.  to remain at a stable level for a relatively long period
[C18: from French, from Old French platel something flat, from plat flat; see plate]

Plateau (ˈplætəʊ)
a state of central Nigeria, formed in 1976 from part of Benue-Plateau State: tin mining. Capital: Jos. Pop: 3 178 712 (2006). Area: 30 913 sq km (11 936 sq miles)

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

1796, "elevated tract of relatively level land," from Fr. plateau, from O.Fr. platel (12c.) "flat piece of metal, wood, etc.," dim. of plat "flat surface or thing," noun use of adj. plat (see plat). Meaning "stage at which no progress is apparent" is attested from 1897, originally
in psychology of learning. The verb is attested from 1952, from the noun.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
plateau   (plā-tō')  Pronunciation Key 
An elevated, comparatively level expanse of land. Plateaus make up about 45 percent of the Earth's land surface.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
North on a high plateau the warmer climate does us good.
Neighborhood boosters had long complained that the high plateau was
  inaccessible from surrounding areas.
The desert plateau on which they stand was once isolated.
And a plateau in the obesity rate would make some kind of reform a bit less
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