The energy released from damages may give rise to small surface displacements and cause transient elastic waves in materials. Wave propagation of thin plates usually takes the form of lamb waves, and the modes of the lowest symmetric (S0) and anti-symmetric (A0) lamb waves are called the extensional and the flexural modes, respectively. In this study, a formulation, including the effect of shear deformation and rotary inertia, was derived to valuate the velocity of plate waves. The characteristics of plate wave propagation in thin laminated plates were investigated. Acoustic emission (AE) signals were generated by function generators and lead breaks, and propagated in laminated plates. These waves would be detected by broadband AE sensors because of their high sensitivity. With wavelet transform, AE waves were analyzed and the wave velocities of A0 and S0 modes were exactly calculated. Moreover, a simple method was presented to evaluate delamination in laminated plates. The length of delamination was predicted, and agreed well with the actual length.