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

Expect broccoli that is planted in September to produce heads for harvest by Thanksgiving. Calvin Finch, ExpressNews.com, "Yeah, it feels wrong, but it’s time to plant your winter vegetables," 30 Aug. 2019 Washington state alone, with 41,263 acres planted for harvest, accounts for 72% of the total U.S. acreage. Tonia Moxley, chicagotribune.com, "Virginia grower beats the heat of the hops harvest," 8 Aug. 2019 Readiness for harvest as green beans (snap beans) relates only to the thickness, or in the case of flat-pod varieties, the width of the pods. Pam Peirce, SFChronicle.com, "It’s time for midsummer harvesting: Use it or lose it," 2 Aug. 2019 In other words, the giants were taking up space that could be used to plant trees for harvest. oregonlive.com, "‘Majestic’ Douglas fir stood for 420 years. Then Oregon State University foresters cut it down," 26 July 2019 Bristol Bay is approaching the record for sockeye salmon harvest once again. Elizabeth Earl, Anchorage Daily News, "Bristol Bay sockeye harvest blowing away forecast once again," 25 July 2019 Underwood had provided Huy Fong with its chili peppers for about 30 years, but the two sides could not reach an agreement for the 2017 harvest, court documents said. Chris Fuchs, NBC News, "Sriracha maker Huy Fong ordered to pay millions in damages to chili pepper supplier Underwood Ranches," 8 July 2019 Some gardeners get lucky and continue their plants through summer and into the fall for a good harvest. Tom Maccubbin, orlandosentinel.com, "It’s a puzzle figuring out when to pick avocados," 6 July 2019 Even fast-growing crops like spinach, cilantro, and lettuce will hold their quality for much longer when planted for fall harvest. Hilary Dahl, Good Housekeeping, "How to Plant a Fall Garden and Grow Late-Season Crops," 1 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Look for beautiful photographs of spearmint and hibiscus, which are harvested in summer. Sheryl Jean, Dallas News, "A small organic herbal tea farm flourishes in Northern California wine country," 28 Aug. 2019 Ciro Rodriguez is one of the people responsible for harvesting agave in the village. Emily Price, Fortune, "How Mezcal’s Boom Is Helping Lift Its Makers Out of Extreme Poverty," 20 July 2019 Corc Yoga, started in 2018, makes its mats from cork harvested in Portugal; the tree is shaved, and the bark can grow back. Mary Billard, Los Angeles Times, "Is your yoga mat bad for the environment?," 19 July 2019 Coastal Alaska Natives are permitted to harvest polar bears for subsistence and crafts, but not in a wasteful way, the outlet reported. Fox News, "Alaska man illegally killed polar bear, left wasting carcass in front yard for months: authorities," 17 July 2019 And then there was Facebook’s reaction to the 2018 Cambridge Analytica breach, in which millions of Facebook users’ personal data was harvested. Barbara Krasnoff, The Verge, "How to post to multiple social networks," 24 June 2019 The sockeye season usually peaks in early July, and most pink salmon is harvested in late July and early August. Annie Zak, Anchorage Daily News, "Early numbers show strong start for commercial sockeye salmon harvest in Prince William Sound," 14 June 2019 Mejia was out in the Coachella Valley this week doing direct outreach, passing out information on the heat protections, along with cooling neck bandanas, to workers harvesting grapes, chili peppers and lemons in the triple-digit desert heat. Julia Wick, latimes.com, "Essential California: Using social media to make sure farmworkers know their rights," 14 June 2019 Forty years ago, science brought us Louise Brown, the first test-tube baby, as IVF was then called, a term that had a creepy sci-fi vibe, like children were being harvested in glass beakers. Kim Brooks, Harper's BAZAAR, "The New Frontier of Fertility Tests—for Young Women," 1 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

5 Sep 2019

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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

What made you want to look up harvest? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan

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