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 Everything from what vines to plant, the timing of the harvest, the fermentation and aging processes, even the labeling is controlled by the member-owners, with guidance from winemaking experts like Pablo Martorell and Mariana Onofri. Lauren Hubbard, Town & Country, "This Winemaking Membership Lets You Feel Like a Vineyard Owner," 31 Oct. 2019 Even more important than any deer harvest, learning and practicing safe handling of hunting rifles and shotguns helps prevent accidents. Paul A. Smith, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Rifle sight-ins are an annual ritual for responsible deer hunters. Here are ranges hosting the clinics," 25 Oct. 2019 They were installed to tame the rivers, provide water for agriculture and make the waterways navigable by barge to carry the huge harvests of wheat to market -- and those needs remain. Bill Weir And Rachel Clarke, CNN, "How a dead whale gave new life to the debate over dams in the Pacific Northwest," 22 Oct. 2019 Falcons are more cost effective on a per-acre basis than bird netting (which requires purchase, installation, lifting for harvest, de-installation labor, and storage space). Jill K. Robinson, SFChronicle.com, "The secret to protecting Napa’s vineyards? Falcons," 17 Oct. 2019 Those plans are technical documents, thousands of pages long, about how the Forest Service prioritizes uses like timber harvest, habitat standards, and wilderness areas. Nick Mott, Outside Online, "Who Owns the Wild: Grizzlies or Humans?," 3 Oct. 2019 The common milkweed pods should be dry and gray or brown prior to harvest, which may mean waiting a few more weeks in much of Ohio. cleveland, "Soil and Water Conservation District accepting common milkweed seed to increase monarch butterfly habitat," 1 Oct. 2019 The center of town will become a grand farmers market where local farms present the best of their harvest to area residents and visitors. Corey Dockser, BostonGlobe.com, "Edible plants, Ag Day, and a songfest," 4 Sep. 2019 With his crop tied up in court proceedings, Cryts and dozens of supporters tried to force their way into the grain elevator to retrieve his harvest. Tim Craig, Washington Post, "In Trump country, a group of coal miners rebel over lost jobs, missed paychecks," 31 Aug. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The Foreign Ministry Sunday released a short statement regretting the move but saying Amman had agreed to let farmers harvest their remaining wheat and other crops. Steve Hendrix, Washington Post, "After 25 years, Jordan declines to renew Israel’s access to the ‘Island of Peace’," 11 Nov. 2019 With Friday’s news, the DNR will add the Minnesota portion of Lake of the Woods to the infested waters list for zebra mussels, so that people who harvest bait, fish commercially or use water from the lake take necessary precautions. Brad Dokken, Twin Cities, "Larval zebra mussels found in Lake of the Woods, Minnesota DNR says," 9 Nov. 2019 Springtime also means green vegetation blanketing the Valley and just harvested foods at every meal. Joanna Hillman, Harper's BAZAAR, "Just Back From...The Sacred Valley, Peru," 6 Nov. 2019 South Africa exports nearly half of the 16,000 tons of rooibos harvested annually to more than 30 countries, where in addition to tea the reddish-brown herb appears in cocktails, soap and a variety of other products. Brian Browdie, Quartz Africa, "South Africa’s Khoisan community will finally get a share of the commercialization of rooibos," 5 Nov. 2019 Ten years ago, the bay supported several hundred oyster boats harvesting about 20 bags per day. Nicquel Terry Ellis, USA TODAY, "Florida's long fight with Georgia over water to Apalachicola Bay and its oysters heads back to court in New Mexico," 30 Oct. 2019 Pineapples make up about 20% of the world’s tropical fruit production, with more than 25 million tons harvested each year—but more than half of this forms waste byproducts like leaves, peels, and seeds. Ian Randall, Science | AAAS, "The world’s best drink cooler may come from pineapple scraps," 29 Oct. 2019 This September another international team announced it has harvested fertilized eggs from the last two northern whites using frozen sperm from deceased rhino fathers. Ashley Braun, Longreads, "Research and Rescue: Saving Species from Ourselves," 24 Oct. 2019 Aker BioMarine, a Norwegian biotech and krill-harvesting company, is launching the new race circuit with the Iditarod and three other sled dog races as partners. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Iditarod joins new international race circuit in an effort to increase exposure, showcase dog care," 23 Oct. 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

14 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Harvest.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/harvesting. Accessed 22 November 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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