1. To make smooth; to level; to pare off the inequalities of the surface of, as of a board or other piece of wood, by the use of a plane; as, to plane a plank.

2. To efface or remove. "He planed away the names . . . Written on his tables." (Chaucer)

3. Figuratively, to make plain or smooth. "What student came but that you planed her path." (Tennyson)

Origin: Cf. F. Planer, L. Planare, fr. Planus. See Plane, Plain, and cf. Planish.

<botany> Any tree of the genus Platanus.

The Oriental plane (Platanus orientalis) is a native of Asia. It rises with a straight, smooth, branching stem to a great height, with palmated leaves, and long pendulous peduncles, sustaining several heads of small close-sitting flowers. The seeds are downy, and collected into round, rough, hard balls. The Occidental plane (Platanus occidentalis), which grows to a great height, is a native of North America, where it is popularly called sycamore, buttonwood, and buttonball, names also applied to the California species (Platanus racemosa).

Origin: F, fr. L. Platanus, Gr, fr. Broad; so called on account of its broad leaves and spreading form. See Place, and cf. Platane, Plantain the tree.

Without elevations or depressions; even; level; flat; lying in, or constituting, a plane; as, a plane surface.

In science, this word (instead of plain) is almost exclusively used to designate a flat or level surface. Plane angle, the angle included between two straight lines in a plane. Plane chart, Plane curve. See Chart and Curve. Plane figure, a figure all points of which lie in the same plane. If bounded by straight lines it is a rectilinear plane figure, if by curved lines it is a curvilinear plane figure. Plane geometry, that part of geometry which treats of the relations and properties of plane figures. Plane problem, a problem which can be solved geometrically by the aid of the right line and circle only. Plane sailing, a scale for the use of navigators, on which are graduated chords, sines, tangents, secants, rhumbs, geographical miles, etc. Plane surveying, surveying in which the curvature of the earth is disregarded; ordinary field and topographical surveying of tracts of moderate extent. Plane table, an instrument used for plotting the lines of a survey on paper in the field. Plane trigonometry, the branch of trigonometry in which its principles are applied to plane triangles.

Origin: L. Planus: cf. F. Plan. See Plan.

1. <geometry> A surface, real or imaginary, in which, if any two points are taken, the straight line which joins them lies wholly in that surface; or a surface, any section of which by a like surface is a straight line; a surface without curvature.

2. <astronomy> An ideal surface, conceived as coinciding with, or containing, some designated astronomical line, circle, or other curve; as, the plane of an orbit; the plane of the ecliptic, or of the equator.

3. <mechanics> A block or plate having a perfectly flat surface, used as a standard of flatness; a surface plate.

4. A tool for smoothing boards or other surfaces of wood, for forming moldings, etc. It consists of a smooth-soled stock, usually of wood, from the under side or face of which projects slightly the steel cutting edge of a chisel, called the iron, which inclines backward, with an apperture in front for the escape of shavings; as, the jack plane; the smoothing plane; the molding plane, etc.

<geometry> Objective plane, the plane in which lie both the incident ray and the refracted or reflected ray.

Origin: F. Plane, L. Plana. See Plane, &.

(01 Mar 1998)

Planck, Max, Planck's constant, Planck's theory < Prev | Next > plane, focal, plane joint, plane of incidence

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