noun, often attributive
har·​vest | \ ˈhär-vəst How to pronounce harvest (audio) \

Definition of harvest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the season for gathering in agricultural crops the beginning of the harvest
2 : the act or process of gathering in a crop assisting neighbors in their harvest
3a : a mature crop (as of grain or fruit) : yield bountiful harvests
b : the quantity of a natural product gathered in a single season the salmon harvest timber harvests
4 : an accumulated store or productive result a harvest of revenue


harvested; harvesting; harvests

Definition of harvest (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to gather in (a crop) : reap harvesting corn
b : to gather, catch, hunt, or kill (salmon, oysters, deer, etc.) for human use, sport, or population control
c : to remove or extract (something, such as living cells, tissues, or organs) from culture (see culture entry 1 sense 3) or from a living or recently deceased body especially for transplanting
2a : to accumulate a store of has now harvested this new generation's scholarly labors— M. J. Wiener
b : to win by achievement the team harvested several awards

intransitive verb

: to gather in a crop especially for food sold it standing in the field to save himself the trouble of harvesting— Pearl Buck

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Other Words from harvest


harvestable \ ˈhär-​və-​stə-​bəl How to pronounce harvestable (audio) \ adjective
harvester noun

Synonyms for harvest

Synonyms: Noun

Synonyms: Verb

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Examples of harvest in a Sentence

Noun The beginning of the harvest varies from year to year. It is time for the harvest. They prayed for a bountiful harvest. We had enormous harvests of corn this year. Verb It is time to harvest the wheat. They want to harvest timber in these woods.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In the near term, this harvest probably isn’t over. al, "Alabama oyster harvesters back at work after lost year," 3 Jan. 2020 The harvest is often a joyous event, with women singing in the fields as the blades swing. Washington Post, "Is fonio the new quinoa? One chef hopes the tiny West African grain will be.," 17 Dec. 2019 The depleted harvest isn’t nearly as noticeable in other parts of the country, where Gulf oysters are less available and less likely to show up on menus. Brett Anderson, New York Times, "Gulf Oysters Are Dying, Putting a Southern Tradition at Risk," 12 Nov. 2019 Maine’s harvest of lobsters is about 40% off last year’s pace through September. USA TODAY, "Soccer seismology, lobster drop, battle ax defense: News from around our 50 states," 12 Nov. 2019 The tasting room was closed, but the wine production facility in Chalk Hill — not threatened by fire — was operating Thursday, and the fruit harvest was ongoing. Esther Mobley, SFChronicle.com, "Kincade Fire threatens Sonoma County wineries," 24 Oct. 2019 The harvest of its lax work in hardening its infrastructure against fire-prone vegetation during windy periods was the catastrophic fires of 2017 and 2018, the liability for which pushed the company to file for bankruptcy this year. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, "Column: The hedge fund battle to control PG&E leaves us no one to root for," 17 Oct. 2019 Laura Beaudoin, who founded the event with her husband, Rick, said that the harvest this year was relatively small. Melanie Savage, courant.com, "St. Peters Ushers In Autumn," 11 Oct. 2019 The potato and kidney-bean harvest is well under way, soybeans are next, and farmers are already beginning to consider what next year’s market will bear. Peter Slevin, The New Yorker, "How Trump’s Presidency Looks from Rural Wisconsin," 23 Sep. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb They are harvested in the winter, making them a perfect December fruit. Callie Blount, al, "Blood orange is the secret ingredient in this salsa recipe," 31 Dec. 2019 Currently, the state taxes cannabis at two points in the production cycle; cannabis is taxed by weight after it is harvested, and then taxed again as an excise tax at the retail level. Andrew Sheeler, Anchorage Daily News, "The stronger the joint, the higher the tax? Report weighs California marijuana tax change," 21 Dec. 2019 That planted the seeds for appreciating where food comes from, and eating with the seasons, and understanding how vibrant food can be just after it’s harvested. Rick Nelson, chicagotribune.com, "‘King of Lowcountry cooking’ shares tips on cuisine with a Southern accent," 27 Nov. 2019 Restaurants should not serve it, stores should not sell it, and people should not buy it, if it was harvested from Salinas, in a major growing region in Northern California. BostonGlobe.com, "Don’t eat romaine lettuce from California’s Salinas Valley, CDC says - The Boston Globe," 23 Nov. 2019 Once bamboo is selected for a new bike, it is harvested, pruned and cleaned. Popmech Editors, Popular Mechanics, "How a Personal Project Turned into a Handmade Bicycle Company," 21 Nov. 2019 What Kothari, a water resource specialist, filled the glasses with looked, smelled and tasted like what comes out of any city faucet, but it had been harvested from the SFPUC’s toilets, sinks and shower drains. Dominic Fracassa, SFChronicle.com, "From toilets to taps: SF tests new water recycling program," 20 Nov. 2019 This growing method uses no pesticides and 95 percent less water than regular farming, not least because the greens do not need to be washed once they are harvested. Jessica Puckett, Condé Nast Traveler, "Singapore Airlines Is Redefining Fresh Airline Food," 17 Oct. 2019 On Erda's website, customers can learn the origins of each herb, when it's harvested and its benefits. Sheryl Jean, Dallas News, "A small organic herbal tea farm flourishes in Northern California wine country," 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'harvest.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of harvest


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


15th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for harvest

Noun and Verb

Middle English hervest, from Old English hærfest; akin to Latin carpere to pluck, gather, Greek karpos fruit

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Time Traveler for harvest

Time Traveler

The first known use of harvest was before the 12th century

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Statistics for harvest

Last Updated

10 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harvest.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harvest. Accessed 17 January 2020.

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More Definitions for harvest


How to pronounce harvest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of harvest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the season when crops are gathered from the fields or the activity of gathering crops
: the amount of crops that are gathered also : the amount of a natural product gathered in a single season



English Language Learners Definition of harvest (Entry 2 of 2)

: to gather (a crop)
: to gather or collect (something) for use


har·​vest | \ ˈhär-vəst How to pronounce harvest (audio) \

Kids Definition of harvest

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : the gathering of a crop
2 : the season when crops are gathered
3 : a ripe crop They passed miles of naked grapevines, stripped of their harvest— Pam Muñoz Ryan, Esperanza Rising


harvested; harvesting

Kids Definition of harvest (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to gather in a crop
2 : to gather or collect for use harvest timber

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More from Merriam-Webster on harvest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for harvest

Spanish Central: Translation of harvest

Nglish: Translation of harvest for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of harvest for Arabic Speakers

Comments on harvest

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a plan in which a last survivor takes all

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