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har·​vest ˈhär-vəst How to pronounce harvest (audio)
often attributive
: the season for gathering in agricultural crops
the beginning of the harvest
: the act or process of gathering in a crop
assisting neighbors in their harvest
: a mature crop (as of grain or fruit) : yield
bountiful harvests
: the quantity of a natural product gathered in a single season
the salmon harvest
timber harvests
: an accumulated store or productive result
a harvest of revenue


2 of 2


harvested; harvesting; harvests

transitive verb

: to gather in (a crop) : reap
harvesting corn
: to gather, catch, hunt, or kill (salmon, oysters, deer, etc.) for human use, sport, or population control
: 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
: to accumulate a store of
has now harvested this new generation's scholarly laborsM. J. Wiener
: 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 harvestingPearl Buck
harvestable adjective
harvester noun

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
The legislature also made things more difficult for the DNR by removing the primary herd control tool called Earn-A-Buck in 2011 as well as implementing electronic harvest registration in 2015. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 26 May 2023 In the case of certain crops in your garden, bolting can be undesirable because this brings an end to productive harvest from the plant. Elizabeth Waddington, Treehugger, 12 May 2023 But only the most primitive imagined that the gods of the sun and goddesses of the harvest, or spirits of pestilence and storm, had any serious roles to play. Ben Ehrenreich, The New Republic, 10 May 2023 The fishermen involved in the lawsuit harvest Atlantic herring, which is a major fishery off the East Coast that supplies both food and bait. Jessica Gresko And Mark Sherman, BostonGlobe.com, 1 May 2023 Also returning is fish and chips — a throwback to the 1930s harvest festival. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, 24 Apr. 2023 Thomas Kellum has seen annual oyster harvests vary widely in his business. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2023 Use Next and Previous buttons to navigate Los Angeles winemaker Adam Huss participates in two harvests each year — one for grapes and another for an unconventional, laborious crop: prickly pears. Jess Lander, San Francisco Chronicle, 14 Apr. 2023 Instead, the tiny glass eels are caught in rivers and then fattened up in eels farms for harvest – almost entirely in China. Elizabeth Weise, USA TODAY, 6 Apr. 2023
These are the best pruning shears to harvest blooms off your front porch or garden. Nor'adila Hepburn, Better Homes & Gardens, 16 May 2023 There are 84 windows to harvest cross-breezes and a sleeping porch to ensure survival during hot summers without air conditioning. Katharine Jose, Chron, 14 May 2023 Yet, as of late March, only two cerebral adrenoleukodystrophy patients have had their cells harvested, while one patient was treated with the gene therapy at Boston Children’s Hospital. Joshua Cohen, Forbes, 3 May 2023 Phishing sites are used to harvest personal information, which can aid the predator in victimizing their target. Christian Jordan Howell, The Conversation, 2 May 2023 Indigenous people first harvested the beans from Vanilla planifolia, a tropical orchid native to Veracruz, along the Gulf of Mexico. Janelle Davis, CNN, 29 Apr. 2023 Each tree can grow to a height of eight meters, so farmers need to hoist themselves up on bamboo ladders to harvest them. Somini Sengupta, New York Times, 28 Apr. 2023 Four years ago, The Times chronicled several cases in which OneLegacy and other OPOs were allowed to harvest organs and tissue before a coroner could conduct an autopsy and determine a cause of death. Jon Healey, Los Angeles Times, 28 Apr. 2023 NusaPure ensures that their colostrum is sourced from only the highest-quality cows and harvested within the first 12 hours of life to ensure maximum potency. Amber Smith, Discover Magazine, 25 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'harvest.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Noun and Verb

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

First Known Use


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


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

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

Dictionary Entries Near harvest

Cite this Entry

“Harvest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harvest. Accessed 3 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
har·​vest ˈhär-vəst How to pronounce harvest (audio)
: the season when crops are gathered
: the gathering of a crop
: a ripe crop (as of grain or fruit)
also : the quantity of a crop gathered in a single season


2 of 2 verb
: to gather in a crop : reap
: to gather as if by harvesting
harvest timber

More from Merriam-Webster on harvest

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