noun, often attributive
har·vest | \ˈhär-vəst \

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 \ adjective
harvester noun

Synonyms for harvest

Synonyms: Noun


Synonyms: Verb

gather, pick, reap

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Examples of harvest in a Sentence


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.


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

That means buying twice as much seed and twice as much fuel and spending twice as much time to get a single harvest. The Aegis, "Roller coaster ride [Editorial]," 13 July 2018 To reach her goal of a massive sunflower harvest in September means daily care, especially on very dry days. Cristela Guerra, BostonGlobe.com, "Artist Ekua Holmes wants to plant hope all over Roxbury," 11 July 2018 The Dungeness crab fishery in Southeast is ongoing, with a summer harvest pegged at 2.25 million pounds. Laine Welch, Anchorage Daily News, "For Alaska sockeye salmon, record highs in Bristol Bay, record lows nearly everywhere else," 9 July 2018 There’s plenty of time to sow seeds directly in a garden or in pots and still enjoy a harvest this season. Jo Ellen Meyers Sharp, Indianapolis Star, "The Hoosier Gardener: Sow seeds now for late-summer edibles," 8 July 2018 So each year when winter approached and the sun’s daily jaunt across the sky became increasingly short, Incan worshippers offered a festival of music, dance and sacrifices in hopes of being granted a plentiful harvest. Washington Post, "AP PHOTOS: Incan festival pays homage to sun across Andes," 25 June 2018 Conditions must be just right or a harvest is lost. Justin Worland/alajuela, Time, "Your Morning Cup of Coffee Is in Danger. Can the Industry Adapt in Time?," 21 June 2018 Fishermen in the Gulf of Maine are already seeing seasonal changes in ocean acidity that could one day threaten a seafood harvest worth more than $600 million to Maine’s economy. Eric Niiler, National Geographic, "The Ocean Is Getting More Acidic—What That Actually Means," 15 June 2018 Deep healthy roots will help those vines survive a long, dry summer while also prompting a bigger harvest. Debbie Arrington, sacbee, "Waiting is over; plant your tomatoes now | The Sacramento Bee," 27 Apr. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Denham claims Facebook broke the law by not being able to protect people’s information and hadn’t been open about how data was harvested from their platform. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Facebook faces over $650G fine in Britain over data misuse scandal," 11 July 2018 Latest Stories Facebook broke the law by failing to safeguard people's information and was not transparent about how data was harvested, the British regulator said. NBC News, "U.K. will fine Facebook over Cambridge Analytica data breaches, regulator says," 10 July 2018 The Information Commissioner's Office is leading the European investigation into how the data of as many as 87 million Facebook users and their friends — mostly residents of the United States and the U.K. — were harvested by Cambridge Analytica. Jessica Guynn, USA TODAY, "Facebook could face $664,000 U.K. fine, maximum allowed, over Cambridge Analytica," 10 July 2018 The marché is brimming with local specialties like buttery brioche, honey by Ruchers des Chouans, sea salt harvested by hand, smoked fish, and bottles of N'O, the island’s only craft beer. Mary Winston Nicklin, Condé Nast Traveler, "The Small Island Where the Tour de France Begins Is Actually a Vacationer's Paradise," 3 July 2018 Lettuce: Leaf lettuces are ready to start harvesting. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Ladies and gentlemen, start your compost," 14 June 2018 Half the 1,010 pythons harvested by hand as of Tuesday have been females, which can produce up to 70 eggs each year. Jennifer Kay, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Hunters bag 1,000 pythons in Florida Everglades," 22 May 2018 Each walleye harvested by the tribes is measured and sexed. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Smith: Researchers document walleye decline in Wisconsin waters," 9 May 2018 President Obama is responsible for the privacy framework that was in effect when Cambridge Analytica started harvesting data from Facebook users in 2014. Fred Campbell, WSJ, "Democrats Have Neglected Online Privacy," 18 Apr. 2018

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


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


see harvest entry 1

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Statistics for harvest

Last Updated

17 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for harvest

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

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More Definitions for harvest



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 \

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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lying above or upon

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