\ ˈplan How to pronounce plan (audio) \

Definition of plan

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : a drawing or diagram drawn on a plane: such as
a : a top or horizontal view of an object
b : a large-scale map of a small area
2a : a method for achieving an end
b : an often customary method of doing something : procedure
c : a detailed formulation of a program of action
d : goal, aim
3 : an orderly arrangement of parts of an overall design or objective
4 : a detailed program (as for payment or the provision of some service) pension plan


planned; planning

Definition of plan (Entry 2 of 3)

transitive verb

1 : to arrange the parts of : design plan a new layout
2 : to devise or project the realization or achievement of planned their escape
3 : to have in mind : intend plans to leave soon

intransitive verb

1 : to make plans plan ahead
2 : to have a specified intention used with on plans on going
variants: or plano-

Definition of plan- (Entry 3 of 3)

1 : flat planography
2 : flat and plano-concave

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Other Words from plan


planless \ ˈplan-​ləs How to pronounce planless (audio) \ adjective
planlessly adverb
planlessness noun


planner noun

Choose the Right Synonym for plan


plan, design, plot, scheme, project mean a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end. plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation. plans for a house design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony. a design for a new dress plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions. the plot of the play scheme stresses calculation of the end in view and may apply to a plan motivated by craftiness and self-interest. a scheme to defraud the government project often stresses imaginative scope and vision. a project to develop the waterfront


plan, plot, and scheme mean a method of making or doing something or achieving an end. plan is used when some thinking was done beforehand often with something written down or pictured. The builder proposed a plan for a new school. plot is used for a complicated, carefully shaped plan of several parts. plot can be used of the plan of a story. It's a mystery story with a good plot. It can also be used of a secret, usually evil plan. The robbery plot was uncovered. scheme is used when there is a tricky plan often for evil reasons. The scheme to cheat people backfired.

Examples of plan in a Sentence


the army's plan of attack We need to agree on a plan of action. Our plan was to have the guests park on the street, not the lawn. When we met them at the restaurant, they said there had been a change of plan. He changed his long-distance plan.


We are busy planning the party. The prisoners spent months planning their escape. a teacher planning her next lesson The students are planning a protest. We have something very special planned for your birthday. Their wedding is planned for June. a planned series of books about cars Things don't always go as planned. Always remember to plan ahead.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

For example, a plan is afoot for Oman to fund an opera house in Beirut. The Economist, "An opera boom in the Gulf," 15 June 2019 Lawmakers appear more supportive of a plan to add three new medical marijuana dispensaries this year. Dan Mcgowan,, "Five key questions ahead of today’s state budget reveal. What’s wrong with Warwick? The abortion rights bill gets a vote.," 13 June 2019 The challenge wasn't only to finance those facilities' acquisition but also to come up with a sustainable plan to manage them. Morgan Watkins, The Courier-Journal, "Despite failed deal with U of L, Jewish Hospital won't close anytime soon, Bendapudi says," 13 June 2019 All three were making plans to visit Turkey during their coming summer break to volunteer in a dental clinic at a camp for Syrian war refugees. CBS News, "Four years later, North Carolina man pleads guilty to killing 3 Muslim students," 12 June 2019 While many are already making their plans for the Fourth of July, another holiday honoring freedom in America has celebrations this month. Trevor Fraser,, "Juneteenth a reason to celebrate in Orlando and Kissimmee," 12 June 2019 All three were making plans to visit Turkey during their coming summer break to volunteer in a dental clinic at a camp for Syrian war refugees. Time, "North Carolina Man Pleads Guilty to Killing 3 Muslim University Students," 12 June 2019 Presidential candidate Kamala Harris recently released a new plan that protects to shield over 6 million people from deportation and give over 2 million Dreamers a path to citizenship. Kynala Phillips, Essence, "Kamala Harris Vows To Create A Roadmap To Citizenship," 12 June 2019 Reginald Moore, the director of the city’s recreation and parks department, said the staff is talking to community members — including the youth — to make plans. Yvonne Wenger,, "Baltimore's $2.9 billion budget would reopen all city rec centers on Saturdays," 11 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Just think, in seven more years this will have all worked out perfectly, as planned. Peter Dunn, USA TODAY, "Annuities are confusing. Understanding the jargon may help you reach investment goals," 14 June 2019 Monken's transition as Browns OC has not gone as smoothly as planned, and Kitchens has taken on a larger role, according to Mike Silver of NFL Network. Mary Kay Cabot,, "Jarvis Landry says Baker Mayfield and Duke Johnson can co-exist; with new OC Todd Monken it takes time," 14 June 2019 Start planning with seasonally direct flights with WestJet to devour all the local eats of Edmonton today. Destination Canada, Bon Appétit, "8 Not-to-Be-Missed Restaurants in Edmonton," 14 June 2019 Not long after the birth of baby Archie, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are already planning their next diplomatic trip. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Will Travel to South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, and Angola This Fall," 13 June 2019 Every reasonable effort will be made to operate Trips as planned, but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary is sent. National Geographic, "Student Expeditions Terms & Conditions," 12 June 2019 In multiple ways, Key’s first season did not go as planned. Matt Kawahara,, "Raiders DE Arden Key aims to finish ‘almost-sacks’ in 2019," 12 June 2019 No money was paid in those cases, either, and both projects went on as originally planned. Brian Barrett, WIRED, "Radiohead Dropped 18 Hours of Unreleased Music to Screw Pirates," 11 June 2019 Right now, restaurant officials are planning for it on the front of the building, right along Lake Street. Steve Lord, Aurora Beacon-News, "Liquor licenses recommended for new Aurora restaurants," 11 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plan.' 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 plan


1735, in the meaning defined at sense 2c


1718, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 2

History and Etymology for plan


French, plane, foundation, ground plan; partly from Latin planum level ground, from neuter of planus level; partly from French planter to plant, fix in place, from Late Latin plantare — more at floor, plant

Combining form

Latin planus

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Learn More about plan

Dictionary Entries near plan

plaited stitch







Statistics for plan

Last Updated

17 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plan

The first known use of plan was in 1718

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More Definitions for plan



English Language Learners Definition of plan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a set of actions that have been thought of as a way to do or achieve something
: something that a person intends to do
: a detailed agreement for telephone service, medical care, insurance, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of plan (Entry 2 of 2)

: to think about and arrange the parts or details of (something) before it happens or is made
: to intend or expect to do (something)
: to expect something to happen


\ ˈplan How to pronounce plan (audio) \

Kids Definition of plan

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a method or scheme of acting, doing, or arranging vacation plans They were nervous because … their plan was indeed a risky one.— Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy
2 : a drawing or diagram showing the parts or outline of something


planned; planning

Kids Definition of plan (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to form a diagram of or for : arrange the parts or details of ahead of time plan a bridge plan a picnic
2 : to have in mind : intend What are you planning to do with the leftovers?



Legal Definition of plan

1 : a diagram of an area of land (as a subdivision) filed in the registry of deeds — see also plot plan
2 : a detailed program especially : one made under chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code that places future earnings under the control of a trustee, provides for the payment of creditors, and is subject to approval by the creditors

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More from Merriam-Webster on plan

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plan

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plan

Spanish Central: Translation of plan

Nglish: Translation of plan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plan for Arabic Speakers

Comments on plan

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behavior toward others

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