\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from plan


planless \ ˈplan-​ləs How to pronounce planless (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


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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Creating their weekly market-to-market broadcast plans, FOX and CBS rely on past TV ratings, local affiliate insight, and a dose of instinct. Jacob Feldman,, "A Look at the Data the NFL Is Using to Decide What Game to Broadcast in Your Area," 6 Sep. 2019 The panel will act as a one-stop shop for the city’s involvement in Fairview plans, meeting with state and local organizations and reporting to the council regularly. Daily Pilot, "Costa Mesa approves committee, readying for Fairview Developmental Center’s future," 5 Sep. 2019 Applicants said that loan servicers had misled them into enrolling in the wrong loan repayment plans, and a consumer protection agency accused the company overseeing the program of botching paperwork. Los Angeles Times, "Federal student loan forgiveness program rejects almost everyone, again," 5 Sep. 2019 This debate will distract from the Democrats’ own plans, many of which happen to be socialist, unaffordable, and politically unserious. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "The GOP’s Self-Made Health-Care Conundrum," 5 Sep. 2019 For all the details on Adele’s life with her son and plans for new music, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday. Linda Marx,, "Adele Is 'Perky as Hell' After Difficult Divorce — and Itching to Share New Music with Fans: Sources," 4 Sep. 2019 Photograph by Mickalene Thomas for TIME Atwood, who started writing The Testaments before the show premiered, has worked closely with Miller and his team on each season, advising on story plans, details about Gilead and aspects like character names. Time, "Hulu and MGM Are Developing Margaret Atwood's 'The Testaments' for the Screen," 4 Sep. 2019 The school plans to add varsity field hockey, softball and baseball in the future. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Young Awty International volleyball team gearing up for SPC debut," 3 Sep. 2019 It is expected to help cover mental health counselors and coaches who help implement special education plans, among other things, spokeswoman Renee Murphy said. Olivia Krauth, The Courier-Journal, "JCPS is considering raising property taxes. Here's what to know," 3 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Trump planned to press leaders about what can be done to spur growth in the U.S. and abroad, as well as to open European, Japanese and Canadian markets to American manufacturers and producers. Zeke Miller,, "Economic storm clouds hovering over Trump and world leaders at G-7 in France," 24 Aug. 2019 SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata plans to present his 21-member board of mayors, council members and county supervisors from across the region with the funding blueprint at a public meeting scheduled for Friday, Sept. 6. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Truce over San Diego’s vision for high-speed rail on the rocks, fears reemerge over nixing highway expansions," 24 Aug. 2019 Protesters planned to cross into Spain from the French border village town of Hendaye. Washington Post, "The Latest: G-7: EU backs France in Trump wine tax threat," 24 Aug. 2019 Next year, Swift plans to re-record her first five albums. Hal Boedeker,, "Taylor Swift earns praise for ‘Lover,’ talks to CBS, opens VMAs," 24 Aug. 2019 According to that report, Apple plans to unveil three new iPhones in September, alongside updates to its iPads, Apple Watch, AirPods, and HomePods. Don Reisinger, Fortune, "Apple’s Quiet Summer Will Soon Give Way to New iPhones, Macs, and More," 24 Aug. 2019 Williams plans to graduate from high school in December and enroll in college in January, allowing him to take part in spring practice in hopes of earning immediate playing time in 2020. Josh Bean |, al, "Decision day: 4-star WR E.J. Williams picks between Alabama, Auburn, 2 others," 24 Aug. 2019 State and federal officials plan to use more than $1 million from Superfund penalty settlements to restore the largest remaining saltmarsh in Connecticut at the mouth of the Housatonic River in Stratford. Mikala Kane,, "Good news this week: School supplies given out to Hartford families, and a New Haven police captain is released from the hospital," 23 Aug. 2019 The Fearless Fund plans to invest in about 20 more companies over the next few years. Kimberly Wilson, Essence, "Keisha Knight Pulliam & Arian Simone Are Investing $5 Million Dollars In Black Women Owned Businesses," 23 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plan

Dictionary Entries near plan

plaited stitch







Statistics for plan

Last Updated

17 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plan

The first known use of plan was in 1718

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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


concealment of treason or felony

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

The Exceptions Quiz III

  • one green toy robot amidst many red toy robots
  • Which of these words does not mean "nonsense"?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!