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

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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 As a result, the coalition of leafy-green growers decided to ban the use of surface water unless it is treated with anti-bacterial chemicals 21 days before harvest. Anchorage Daily News, "Romaine lettuce keeps getting recalled for E. coli contamination, and no one knows why," 26 Nov. 2019 Emara gets his jute leaves shipped to him flash-frozen by a supplier near his home village after the spring harvest. Michael Mayo, sun-sentinel.com, "Review: Shabo’s Mediterranean Barbecue in Hollywood makes a lateral move for the better," 7 Nov. 2019 Most medical marijuana businesses are expected to apply for recreational licenses, but for every category except the growers, the license won’t do much good until after the first harvest of weed. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "Recreational weed probably won't be for sale in Michigan until March, April," 27 Oct. 2019 After harvest, walnuts and hazelnuts should be dried before eating or storage. oregonlive, "How to harvest hazelnuts, walnuts and chestnuts and store them for the winter," 15 Oct. 2019 Prune fruit trees right after the harvest to keep them short for easy access. Nan Sterman, San Diego Union-Tribune, "September gardening: 22 things to do this month," 5 Sep. 2019 According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, harvests of oysters are now at 1% or less of historical levels due to harvesting, disease and changes in water quality, among other factors. Julia Rentsch, baltimoresun.com, "Maryland oysters are having a bad year, and here’s why," 18 Aug. 2019 His winery has been making improvements to use less water, such as increasing the load of grapes processed during harvest. Mai Hoang, The Seattle Times, "Washington’s wine industry adjusts to new wastewater requirements," 11 Aug. 2019 The slave owners were placed with the responsibility of letting their slaves know about the news, and some delayed relaying the information until after the harvest, Henry Louis Gates said in an article originally posted on The Root. Briana Rice, Cincinnati.com, "What is June 19? An explanation of the holiday that commemorates the end of slavery," 18 June 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Like many other Palestinians who own fields in close proximity to Israeli settlements, Shtewi’s land is subject to the Israeli permit system, which requires him to seek permission from the ICA before harvesting his own olive trees. Noor Ibrahim, Time, "Olive Groves in the West Bank Have Become a Battleground. That's Why Volunteers Come From Around the World to Help at Harvest Time," 1 Nov. 2019 Further Reading Why emergency braking systems sometimes hit parked cars and lane dividers Tesla may be able to create rudimentary maps by harvesting data from customers' Smart Summon trips. Timothy B. Lee, Ars Technica, "I watched over 100 Tesla Smart Summon videos—here’s what I learned," 14 Oct. 2019 Collectors should be familiar with guidelines for harvesting the seed. cleveland, "Soil and Water Conservation District accepting common milkweed seed to increase monarch butterfly habitat," 1 Oct. 2019 For example, people who live near the coast sometimes collect water by harvesting it from fog! Science Buddies, Scientific American, "Catch Water from the Air," 26 Sep. 2019 In recent years growers have mitigated the issue by harvesting earlier, but further rises in average temperature would leave the industry in a precarious position. Fortune, "How the $3.6 Billion Cognac Industry Is Trying to Outrun Climate Change," 14 Sep. 2019 Streamers make money by running commercials on their channels, and by harvesting donations and subscriptions. John Keilman, chicagotribune.com, "‘I’m very obsessed … you could say addicted’: Former heroin user enters spotlight livestreaming video games from the Chicago suburbs," 13 Aug. 2019 By harvesting the everyday energy of static electricity, scientists may have found the world's most plentiful source of renewable, sustainable power. Anna Groves, Discover Magazine, "Table of Contents September/October 2019," 11 Aug. 2019 Giethoorn, Netherlands The marshes surrounding Giethoorn were once important sources for harvesting peat moss and reeds, and its canal system was originally used to transport local farmers and their crops across town. Caitlin Etherton, National Geographic, "Venice is flooded with tourists—visit these floating cities instead," 16 May 2019

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

12 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Harvest.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harvestable?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=h&file=harves02. Accessed 12 December 2019.

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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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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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a period of high artistic development

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