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 Not every seed will sprout and not every plant will make it to harvest. Popular Science, "How to start your own survival garden," 8 Apr. 2020 Not every seed will sprout and not every plant will make it to harvest. Tim Macwelch, Outdoor Life, "How To Start Your Own Survival Garden," 31 Mar. 2020 Two more seedlings germinated around the spring harvest festival of Shavuot, when the Book of Ruth is traditionally read. Sarah Zhang, The Atlantic, "After 2,000 Years, These Seeds Have Finally Sprouted," 5 Feb. 2020 Riverside Press-Enterprise Tulare County walnut growers, bombarded with tariffs, remain hopeful during harvest. Julia Wick, Los Angeles Times, "Newsletter: When body parts donation complicates a death investigation," 15 Oct. 2019 Farmers should expect wetter springs, delays in the growing season, changes in crops that can be planted, crop yields and flooding during harvest. NBC News, "Climate change is shaping Iowa's physical and political landscape," 13 Oct. 2019 Traditionally a harvest festival held on the day of a full moon in the fall, Mid-Autumn celebrations involve family reunions, admiring the moon, and gifting one another boxes of mooncakes—a disc of flaky pastry usually filled with a thick paste. Echo Huang, Quartz, "Chinese companies are rolling out fake meat mooncakes this Mid-Autumn Festival," 10 Sep. 2019 There are plenty of fall and harvest festivals to get your fill of hayrides, corn mazes and cider this fall. Chris Sims, Indianapolis Star, "Where to find Oktoberfests, fall and harvest festivals around Indianapolis," 3 Sep. 2019 Tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are most easily grown from seedlings, but the pros recommend planting both seeds and seedlings with crops such as summer squash, cucumbers, beets and beans to stagger your harvests. Los Angeles Times, "DIY: Plant a victory garden now and grow your own groceries," 16 Apr. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Saffron is harvested in the hours just before sunrise, while the crocus petals remain closed; this makes the flowers easier to pick and helps protect their precious crimson-red stigmas. Susan Wright, New York Times, "An Intimate Look at Italy’s Saffron Harvest," 12 May 2020 Several medical centers, including Johns Hopkins Hospital and the Mayo Clinic, are harvesting blood plasma from survivors and screening it for antibodies. Michael Waldholz, Scientific American, "Three Ways to Make Coronavirus Drugs in a Hurry," 12 May 2020 During the full 2019 Wisconsin spring turkey hunting season, hunters harvested 38,556 turkeys, 15% below the 15-year average. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Spring turkey hunters enjoying good success through two periods," 2 May 2020 Iceland already harvested the lowest number of whales among the whaling holdouts, which include Japan and Norway. Kieran Mulvaney, National Geographic, "Commercial whaling may be over in Iceland," 1 May 2020 The now defunct British political consulting firm harvested the personal data of millions of Facebook users without their consent and used it for political advertising. NBC News, "Facebook to let U.S. and Canada users transfer photos and videos," 30 Apr. 2020 The black swallowtails are harvesting nectar from the small yellow blooms. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Calvin Finch: Wildlife activity picking up in San Antonio gardens, from purple martins, hummingbirds, butterflies and bees," 30 Apr. 2020 Four of the co-op's farms will harvest the crops: Pinnacle Farms, Agritopia, Blue Sky Organic Farms and Maya's Farm. Priscilla Totiyapungprasert, azcentral, "Coronavirus hit Arizona farmers hard. Here's how they're rallying to feed Phoenix families," 27 Apr. 2020 Other workers didn’t harvest fast enough to turn a profit for the farm. Bojan Pancevski, WSJ, "‘The French Are Very Bad at Picking Asparagus.’ Virus Imperils European Farming.," 21 Apr. 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

15 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Harvest.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harvest. Accessed 28 May. 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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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

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