A plaque is a sign that memorializes a person or event, such as the plaque on a building noting the person it’s named after or the year it was built.

Plaque comes from the French word for “plate,” meaning not a dinner plate, but a little brass or tin plate that can be mounted on a wall. If you take a tour of Civil War battlefields, you’ll find that historical societies often use plaques to commemorate soldiers or particular events. Plaque is also a hard buildup in the body, like the plaque on your teeth that the dentist likes to scrape off.

Definitions of plaque
  1. noun

    a memorial made of brass

    brass, memorial tablet
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    type of:

    memorial, monument

    a structure erected to commemorate persons or events

  2. noun

    (pathology) a small abnormal patch on or inside the body

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    amyloid plaque, amyloid protein plaque

    a plaque consisting of tangles of amyloid protein in nervous tissue (a pathological mark of Alzheimer’s disease)
    arterial plaque

    a fatty deposit inside an arterial wall; characteristic of atherosclerosis
    bacterial plaque, dental plaque

    a film of mucus and bacteria deposited on the teeth that encourages the development of dental caries
    type of:

    dapple, fleck, maculation, patch, speckle, spot

    a small contrasting part of something

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