Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A small triangular board supported by two casters and a vertical pencil that, when lightly touched by the fingertips, is said to spell out subconscious or supernatural messages.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A small plank.
  • n. A type of Ouija board. (A small tablet of wood supported on casters and having a pencil attached. The characters produced by the pencil on paper, while the hand rests on the instrument and it is allowed to move, are sometimes interpreted as of oracular or supernatural import.)
  • n. A plane-table.
  • n. Circular, colored dots pressed into paper money, used to distinguish authentic currency from counterfeit currency.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A circumferentor. See circumferentor.
  • n. A small tablet of wood supported on casters and having a pencil attached. The characters produced by the pencil on paper, while the hand rests on the instrument and it is allowed to move, are sometimes translated as of oracular or supernatural import.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A small heart-shaped or triangular board mounted on three supports, of which two, placed at the angles of the base, are easily moving casters, and the third, placed at the apex, is a pencil-point.
  • n. A circumferentor.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a triangular board supported on casters; when lightly touched with the fingertips it is supposed to spell out supernatural (or unconscious) messages

Etymologies

French, from Old French, diminutive of planche, board; see planchet.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

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  • "This turn toward the veil was largely Darwin's fault. By reducing the rise of man to a process that had more to do with accident than with God, his theories had caused a shock to the faith of late Victorian England. The yawning void of this new 'Darwinian darkness,' as one writer put it, caused some to embrace science as their new religion but turned many others into the arms of Spiritualism and set them seeking concrete proof of an afterlife in the shifting planchettes of Ouija boards. In the mid-1890s Britain had 150 Spiritualist societies; by 1908 there would be nearly 400."
    —Erik Larson, Thunderstruck (New York: Crown Publishers, 2006), 53

    July 7, 2009