I don't know where I first heard the word plateau used in a context to imply that the rate of growth decelerates and stops at X. I think it was in a Machine learning class(mathematics class) taught by an Indian professor. So I think it could have been invalid usage. I have been using this everywhere, so I thought I should confirm if it is a valid usage of the word plateau.

A typical sentence where I would use plateau is:

I am making X dollar amount a year right now, but the increments in my salary are not substantial. I think at this rate, I will plateau around Y dollar amount a year.

  • You might have researched this before posting. It is in most dictionaries.
    – Lambie
    Oct 13, 2018 at 21:51
  • This is use of "plateau" can also be used with rate of decrease as well as growth. It's very frequently used when talking about dieting: "I want to get down to 150 lbs, but my weight seems to have plateaued at 165." Oct 13, 2018 at 22:34

1 Answer 1


Yes, plateau can be used as an intransitive verb in just that sense:


: to reach a level, period, or condition of stability or maximum attainment


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