\ 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

Other Words from plan


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

Examples of plan in a Sentence

Noun 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. Verb 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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun In November 2019, the Howard school board approved a redistricting plan that moved about 5,400 students to new schools for the 2020-21 academic year. Allana Haynes, Baltimore Sun, 15 June 2022 Wildlife biologists have been on the lookout for the bird and had equipment and a plan to catch it and move it to a wildlife sanctuary. Dana Hedgpeth, Washington Post, 15 June 2022 Duggan outlined a three-pronged plan for help available after the program ends. Nushrat Rahman, Detroit Free Press, 15 June 2022 That would echo past episodes, including early in the pandemic, when the ECB’s efforts at restoring market confidence fell flat, and the bank was pressured to produce a more ambitious plan. Tom Fairless, WSJ, 15 June 2022 But there's a plan to capitalize on all of the excitement. Jonmaesha Beltran, The Arizona Republic, 15 June 2022 Citing the challenges of raising a family, particularly in the midst of a pandemic and record inflation, Utah Sen. Mitt Romney has reintroduced a plan that would provide monthly payouts to working families with young children. Daedan Olander, The Salt Lake Tribune, 15 June 2022 Aziza Robinson-Goodnight, another advocate for reparations in Boston, pointed out that a formal apology is the first step of a 10-point plan laid out by the National African American Reparations Commission. Globe Staff,, 15 June 2022 Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan released a plan on Monday to reallocate tens of millions of dollars for mental health and school safety. Paul Best, Fox News, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb If companies learned anything from 2021, it’s that e-commerce does not plan on slowing down anytime soon in 2022. Liz Tsai, Forbes, 27 June 2022 The fifth-place finisher, Tara Sweeney, does not plan to challenge that decision in court, according to her campaign manager. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, 23 June 2022 The district doesn’t plan on demolishing the buildings. John Benson, cleveland, 22 June 2022 But because her father was ill, the couple didn’t plan a big party after their small ceremony, only a visit to her father in the hospital. Kathleen Walsh, Glamour, 16 June 2022 About 27% of parents don’t plan to vaccinate their child at all, and 11% will do so only if they are required, according to the survey. Jared S. Hopkins, WSJ, 15 June 2022 Just don’t plan to heat more than one pot or pan at a time. Wes Siler, Outside Online, 15 June 2022 MacMillan’s pediatrician doesn’t plan to offer the vaccines. Lisa Schencker, Chicago Tribune, 15 June 2022 As of now, the team doesn’t plan to raise the ship’s remains from the seabed, but a selection of artifacts and informational displays will go on view at the Norwich Castle Museum next year. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

17 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

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More Definitions for plan


\ 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?

Choose the Right Synonym for plan


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.



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

More from Merriam-Webster on plan

Nglish: Translation of plan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plan for Arabic Speakers


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