Definitions for "Placode"
a plate-like thickening of limiting tissue, usually ectoderm, which is the anlage of a particular structure.
(Greek, plax = plate, eidos = shape or form) A surface ectoderm thickening seen in the early embryo head region. Each pair of placodes will form a different component of each sensory system (otic placode, optic placode, nasal placode). (More? Head Notes)
Greek plax = plate or flat, and eidos = shape or form.