Abstract: Large phase differences between transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) waves were investigated in plasmonic nanoslit arrays. The phase of the TE wave shifts ahead because of its low propagation constant. On the other hand, the phase of the TM wave is retarded due to the propagation of surface plasmons. The opposite phase shift forms a giant birefringence. Its magnitude was dependent on the width of nanoslits. The birefringence magnitude was ∼1 for 300-nm-wide nanoslits and up to ∼2.7 for 100 nm ones. The spectroscopic measurements indicate that waveplates made of gold nanoslits have large bandwidths.