a. A piece of lumber cut thicker than a board.
b. Such pieces of lumber considered as a group; planking.
2. A foundation; a support.
3. One of the articles of a political platform.
tr.v. planked, plank·ing, planks
1. To furnish or cover with planks: plank a muddy pathway.
2. To bake or broil and serve (fish or meat) on a plank: "Boards specially made for planking food have grooves ... to hold juices" (Michael Stern).
3. To put or set down emphatically or with force.
[Middle English, from Old North French planke, from Late Latin planca, from plancus, flat; see plāk-1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.