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 There are 750-odd animals yet available for harvest in all hunts. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Interest appears high as the Forty-mile caribou hunt continues," 8 Nov. 2020 The second problem was harvest of Eastern hardwood forests. Jim Williams Contributing Writer, Star Tribune, "Who's the fairest duck of them all? Author says it's the wood duck," 10 Nov. 2020 One candle—four tantalizing scents of the fall harvest. Perri Ormont Blumberg, Southern Living, "This Thanksgiving Feast Candle Smells Like Buttery Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sage Stuffing, and Cranberry Sauce," 4 Nov. 2020 Wade Shannon, assistant special agent in charge of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s operations in Riverside and San Bernardino counties, noted the slayings came during peak harvest time, yet there was no sign the site had been robbed. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, "Seven bodies, nothing stolen: Were killings at Riverside marijuana grow ‘a message’?," 28 Oct. 2020 With the average harvest of a 40-day cycle yielding some 240 JOD ($340) in profit, slightly more than the minimum wage in Jordan, the gardens have been life-changing for many. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, "Rooftop farms in Jordan help Gazans reconnect with lost land," 27 Oct. 2020 Two factors stand out as likely spreaders of the virus to rural areas: harvest time and the start of the school year at universities and colleges. David Hogberg, Washington Examiner, "Harvest time and the return of college students spread the coronavirus to rural America," 25 Oct. 2020 With San Martin’s innovations, the annual harvest of Quillaja declined from a high of 20,000 tons per year to around 5,000 tons. Brendan Borrell, The Atlantic, "The Tree That Could Help Stop the Pandemic," 21 Oct. 2020 In regions where tide differentials are big, such as Georgia, parts of Florida, and the Carolinas, low tide is best for easy harvest of oysters. Popular Science, "14 wild edibles you can pull right out of the ocean," 19 Oct. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Here’s how to harvest your very own Christmas tree in a Northwest national forest. oregonlive, "How to get your Christmas tree from an Oregon national forest," 9 Nov. 2020 The Department of Fish and Game is recommending that hunters harvest cows without calves to reduce herd size. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, "Interest appears high as the Forty-mile caribou hunt continues," 8 Nov. 2020 While Vanth hands his prized armor over to the Mandalorian, the Tusken Raiders work to harvest the dragon’s pearl. Alex Kane, USA TODAY, "The Mandalorian is back—and it doesn't disappoint," 30 Oct. 2020 Boies decided to harvest some turkeys early this year. CBS News, "Turkey farmers in limbo as Americans scale back Thanksgiving plans," 30 Oct. 2020 Though much of the Mohican River valley was farmland a century ago, the areas along this part of the Clear Fork were too steep to harvest. Susan Glaser, cleveland, "Exploring Mohican State Park, a longtime fall favorite, with an unexpected discovery," 29 Oct. 2020 As soon as the bottomlands are dry enough, logging crews set out to harvest the timber. Priyanka Runwal, Scientific American, "Climate Change Hits Rock and Roll as Prized Guitar Wood Shortage Looms," 28 Oct. 2020 So begins her jaunt across through the U.S. and Europe to harvest samples. Leslie Pariseau, Los Angeles Times, "Books bound in human skin? A UCLA librarian on why you’ll want to read about them," 27 Oct. 2020 Although the researchers did not estimate how much water might be present, anything in these regions should be easy to harvest, Hayne says. Sid Perkins, Science | AAAS, "The Moon may hold much more water than we think," 26 Oct. 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

25 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harvest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harvest. Accessed 25 Nov. 2020.

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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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