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

Freeze your mint harvest for later in self-sealing bags. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "How to Grow Fresh Mint That Won't Overrun Your Garden," 22 Aug. 2018 On her Lac-du-Cerf farm, Leonard will have her first harvest this autumn, her second year after planting. Calvin Woodward, Fox News, "A makeover for milkweed, for the sake of butterflies," 31 July 2018 Most farm loans are short-term, suggesting they are widely used for household expenditures before harvest rather than investment. The Economist, "India’s government claims to subsidise farmers, but actually hurts them," 12 July 2018 The plant Camellia Sinensis is used, and grown in shade the last three weeks before harvest. Lauren Delgado, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Healing Butterfly spices up matcha with tasty flavors," 4 June 2018 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

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The mussels were rope-grown and hand-harvested on Bang Island, 10 miles away, on rafts from wild seeds. BostonGlobe.com, "Find out just how much of a foodie city Portland is on a Maine Food for Thought Tour," 11 July 2018 Murphy gave Fox News a full tour of Rebel Farm, a hydroponic greenhouse where hundreds of pounds of greens and herbs are grown and harvested each month by former service members. Christopher Carbone, Fox News, "Farming nonprofit helps vets with PTSD reintegrate into civilian life," 4 July 2018 No matter how fast it can be grown and harvested, planting can't begin until the facilities have been inspected and granted licenses to operate. Randy Tucker, Cincinnati.com, "When will medical weed be available in Ohio?," 25 June 2018 Most of the 18 varieties of rice that were grown and harvested contained significantly less protein, iron and zinc than rice that is grown today. New York Times, "How More Carbon Dioxide Can Make Food Less Nutritious," 23 May 2018 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

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

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

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

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


playful or foolish behavior

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