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noun \ˈplan\

Simple Definition of plan

  • : a set of actions that have been thought of as a way to do or achieve something

  • : something that a person intends to do

  • : a detailed agreement for telephone service, medical care, insurance, etc.

Full Definition of plan

  1. 1 :  a drawing or diagram drawn on a plane: as a :  a top or horizontal view of an object b :  a large-scale map of a small area

  2. 2 a :  a method for achieving an end b :  an often customary method of doing something :  procedure c :  a detailed formulation of a program of action d :  goal, aim

  3. 3 :  an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective

  4. 4 :  a detailed program (as for payment or the provision of some service) <pension plan>

plan·less play \-ləs\ adjective
plan·less·ly adverb
plan·less·ness noun

Examples of plan

  1. the army's plan of attack

  2. We need to agree on a plan of action.

  3. Our plan was to have the guests park on the street, not the lawn.

  4. When we met them at the restaurant, they said there had been a change of plan.

  5. He changed his long-distance plan.

Origin of plan

French, plane, foundation, ground plan; partly from Latin planum level ground, from neuter of planus level; partly from French planter to plant, fix in place, from Late Latin plantare — more at floor, plant

First Known Use: 1706

Synonym Discussion of plan

plan, design, plot, scheme, project mean a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end. plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation <plans for a house>. design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony <a design for a new dress>. plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions <the plot of the play>. scheme stresses calculation of the end in view and may apply to a plan motivated by craftiness and self-interest <a scheme to defraud the government>. project often stresses imaginative scope and vision <a project to develop the waterfront>.

Rhymes with plan




Simple Definition of plan

  • : to think about and arrange the parts or details of (something) before it happens or is made

  • : to intend or expect to do (something)

  • : to expect something to happen

Full Definition of plan


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to arrange the parts of :  design <plan a new layout>

  3. 2 :  to devise or project the realization or achievement of <planned their escape>

  4. 3 :  to have in mind :  intend <plans to leave soon>

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to make plans <plan ahead>

  7. 2 :  to have a specified intention —used with on <plans on going>

plan·ner noun

Examples of plan

  1. We are busy planning the party.

  2. The prisoners spent months planning their escape.

  3. a teacher planning her next lesson

  4. The students are planning a protest.

  5. We have something very special planned for your birthday.

  6. Their wedding is planned for June.

  7. a planned series of books about cars

  8. Things don't always go as planned.

  9. Always remember to plan ahead.


First Known Use of plan



combining form

Definition of plan-

  1. 1 :  flat <planography>

  2. 2 :  flat and <plano-concave>

Variants of plan-

or plano-

Origin of plan-

Latin planus

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up plan? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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