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 harvest (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 Box turtles are currently considered a ‘restricted harvest’ species in the state. Tristan Baurick, NOLA.com, "Couple charged with illegally selling Louisiana box turtles," 8 Jan. 2021 Wildfires hit several wine regions of Oregon and California, including the northern Napa Valley, just before and during harvest. Washington Post, "For winemakers, 2020 was the year that ‘dropped us to our knees’," 2 Jan. 2021 By the end of last week, the state's cumulative deer harvest stood at 192,679 whitetails — 7% more than a year ago. Tony Kennedy, Star Tribune, "When so much else slumped in 2020, nature took off," 26 Dec. 2020 On a recent morning, Miguel Gonzalez walked onto a dry field where cotton bolls were scattered on the soil, the remnants of last year’s harvest, before the water was shut off. Ian James, The Arizona Republic, "Colorado River tribes seek approval from Congress to put water on the market in Arizona," 24 Dec. 2020 The rest, some 300,000 acres, largely consisted of work by private landowners, including 115,000 acres of commercial timber harvest, as well as 114,000 acres of dead-tree removal that may never have been completed. Bettina Boxall, Los Angeles Times, "Billions of dollars spent on fighting California wildfires, but little on prevention," 23 Dec. 2020 Scarcity alone will make 2020 ice wines a standout for connoisseurs—this will be the region’s smallest winter harvest in two decades. Doug Alexander, Bloomberg.com, "In World’s Top Ice Wine Region, 2020 Vintage Will Be Rare Find," 22 Dec. 2020 In 2018 hunters put over one-million birds on the ground in according to a harvest report provided by South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks. Jace Bauserman, Field & Stream, "5 Great Late-Season Hunting Trips," 21 Dec. 2020 According to folklore, the ancient farmers, concerned with next year’s crops, lit bonfires during this time to show the sun which way to turn, thus ensuring a good harvest. Joan Rusek, cleveland, "Winter is coming but so is the sun, Jupiter and Saturn: Valley Views," 15 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The connection to Cambridge Analytica has, in particular, alarmed experts, who worry that Parler may harvest unnecessary data from unwitting users. Alex Newhouse, The Conversation, "Big Tech’s rejection of Parler shuts down a site favored by Trump supporters – and used by participants in the US Capitol insurrection," 12 Jan. 2021 See more details about how to harvest a Christmas tree from a national forest in our previous story. oregonlive, "Where to find a perfect fir for the holidays? Try a national forest: Peak Northwest podcast," 10 Dec. 2020 Her plan to harvest organs from British society’s most vulnerable demographics is just as exaggerated—it’s comic book brutal. Reid Mccarter, Wired, "Watch Dogs: Legion Tackles Dystopia—That It's a Part Of," 19 Nov. 2020 Doris and Dodie plant seed potatoes and wait patiently to harvest them. Bethanne Patrick, Washington Post, "Meredith Hall’s ‘Beneficence’ is a quiet, poignant look at one family’s tragedy-strewn trajectory," 20 Oct. 2020 Namibia’s coast has several significant seal colonies and has regularly sanctioned culls of the animals to harvest them for fur and other products as well as keeping their numbers in check. Kaula Nhongo, Bloomberg.com, "Die-Off of 5,000 Seal Pups on Beach Triggers Inquiry in Namibia," 14 Oct. 2020 The theory goes that the more people eat invasive species, the more incentive there is to hunt and harvest them — a classic free-market approach, except that the point is to boost demand until there is no supply. Ligaya Mishan, New York Times, "When Invasive Species Become the Meal," 2 Oct. 2020 The war erupted just as villagers were preparing to harvest their crops, in a region already grappling with swarms of locusts and recurring drought. New York Times, "Refugees Come Under Fire as Old Foes Fight in Concert in Ethiopia," 18 Dec. 2020 The newest change is that the Cedar Point West area will be closed to harvest while the Cedar Point East area will remain open. al, "Alabama oyster harvest on track to double last year’s haul," 14 Dec. 2020

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

18 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Harvest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harvest. Accessed 20 Jan. 2021.

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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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Comments on harvest

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