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

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

In addition to widespread damage to infrastructure, Philippine authorities estimated agriculture took a $53 million hit as crops were wiped out just weeks before harvest season. John Lyons, WSJ, "A Search for Survivors as Typhoon Mangkhut Cleanup Begins," 17 Sep. 2018 Come harvest season, there's going to be several different varieties of lettuce and other fresh produce, as well as preparation tips from Purdue Extension's Nutrition Education program. Michelle L. Quinn, Post-Tribune, "Food bank helps stretch budgets," 30 Mar. 2018 And during the 2017 harvest season, Bucio was promoted to tractor driver. San Francisco Chronicle, "Increasingly, California vineyards field a workforce of women," 24 Feb. 2018 Blooming and fruiting take a lot of energy, and freeing the plant of this burden allows it to focus on root and vegetative growth, leading to healthier plants and more robust future harvests. Colin Mccrate, The Seattle Times, "Our native evergreen huckleberry brings dynamic color and oodles of fruit to your edible shade garden," 20 Feb. 2019 That’s a log drive—one of the most spectacular and action-packed features of America’s annual timber harvest that reaches a total of 35 billion feet a year. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 Corn and soybean harvests have hit records, as have pork, poultry and dairy production. Jesse Newman And Patrick Mcgroarty, WSJ, "Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America," 18 Jan. 2019 Letting private companies make money off of timber harvests that also serve to thin out overgrown forests, restoring them to a healthier state, would help accomplish this goal. Umair Irfan, Vox, "Ryan Zinke blamed environmentalists for California’s massive wildfires. Again.," 21 Nov. 2018 That’s an unusual move for this time of the year, when China usually starts booking U.S. supply in the months before the North American harvest starts. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Why Trump's Trade War Is a Huge Gift to Brazilian Farmers," 6 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

While the scientists are confident about being able to harvest eggs from the two females, questions remain over the risk to the rare animals’ health. Washington Post, "Scientists create hybrids in race to save rhino sub-species," 4 July 2018 While the scientists are confident about being able to harvest eggs from the two females, questions remain over the risk to the rare animals' health. Frank Jordans, chicagotribune.com, "There are only two northern white rhinos left. Scientists hope hybrid embryos will save the species.," 4 July 2018 This means that fertility doctors won’t have to harvest your eggs, much less clone you. William Saletan, WSJ, "‘She Has Her Mother’s Laugh’ Review: Biology’s Strange New World," 28 June 2018 Meanwhile, Aleksandr Kogan, the former Cambridge Analytica contractor who reportedly harvested personal data on up to 87 million Facebook users, is set to appear before a Senate panel next Tuesday. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: Facebook’s communications chief Elliot Schrage exits," 15 June 2018 Seminole County on Tuesday made permanent a pilot program that allows homeowners in residential neighborhoods to keep chickens in their backyards to harvest fresh eggs. Martin E. Comas, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Seminole makes backyard chicken program permanent," 12 June 2018 Second, Adams said many clinics sell women on a single egg retrieval procedure without mentioning that more may be needed to harvest enough eggs to produce a successful pregnancy. Author: Ariana Eunjung Cha, Anchorage Daily News, "The struggle to conceive with frozen eggs," 28 Jan. 2018 The best time to harvest it for eating is when the bean is 12 to 30 inches long. Robin Tribble, Popular Mechanics, "How to Grow a Giant Pumpkin," 24 Jan. 2019 Timber giant Weyerhaeuser owns a bit of the land and has a long-term lease to harvest pine trees on the rest. Robert Barnes, The Seattle Times, "Supreme Court deals a setback to the endangered dusky gopher frog," 27 Nov. 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

Noun and Verb

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

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Statistics for harvest

Last Updated

18 Apr 2019

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 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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marked by a state of overwhelming emotion

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