\ 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 onplans 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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The company, which operates more than 200 restaurants in the United States and abroad, has reached an agreement with a majority of its senior creditors on a restructuring plan., "Dunkin’ to close 350 more stores," 31 July 2020 The film opens with Miranda doing something many of us can relate to — calling a bill collector to work out a payment plan. Elizabeth Montgomery, The Arizona Republic, "How 'The Secret: Dare to Dream' just might make you believe in love again," 31 July 2020 The remaining 5% will be used to develop a plan resulting in protocols that would direct police officers away from responding to noncriminal calls involving the homeless and mentally ill — social workers would fill that role instead. Megan Cassidy,, "San Francisco plans to redirect $120 million from law enforcement to Black community," 31 July 2020 The Kentucky Science Center is reopening to the public seven days a week starting Monday, following a phased reopening plan that began in early July. Emma Austin, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky Science Center reopening to public 7 days a week," 31 July 2020 Ford had announced a similar plan beginning in May for 300 executives to take salary deferrals for at least five months. Eric D. Lawrence, Detroit Free Press, "Fiat Chrysler salaried workers back at full pay," 31 July 2020 The deadline to submit a safety plan and risk assessment tool is 11:59 p.m. on Sept. 15. Annysa Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Milwaukee issues new order allowing schools with approved safety plans to open at 50% capacity," 31 July 2020 Is there a plan to do anything for the season restart? Mark Medina, USA TODAY, "NBA bubble life: Lakers’ JaVale McGee on how he’s balancing hoops, business and family life," 31 July 2020 The Memorial Park Master Plan is a long-term plan to preserve and expand Houston’s largest urban wilderness and recreation park for future generations. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Memorial Park’s Eastern Glades, a 100-acre addition, is now open," 31 July 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Giffel reached out to Immanuel and worked with church committees for a year and a half to plan the park and negotiate an 11-year lease. Christine Fernando, The Indianapolis Star, "'This is really happening': These women are bringing a dog park to downtown Indianapolis," 31 July 2020 So far, schools are getting little consensus from federal and state officials on how best to plan. Leslie Brody And Lee Hawkins, WSJ, "Reopening Schools Try to Decide When They Should Close Again Due to Coronavirus Cases," 30 July 2020 Listen to our previous episode about how to plan your first Oregon camping trip. oregonlive, "How to plan your first backpacking trip: Peak Northwest podcast," 30 July 2020 Health concerns during the coronavirus pandemic have led many institutions to plan on allowing faculty to teach remotely. Dallas News, "Texas should delay in-person classes for state colleges and universities to Sept. 8, faculty association says in plea to governor," 28 July 2020 In many relationships, there’s one person who loves to plan and one who can’t be bothered with details. Patrice J. Williams, Travel + Leisure, "9 Mistakes That Could Ruin Your Romantic Couples' Trip," 12 July 2020 The Milwaukee organization Wallpapered City, founded by artist Stacey Williams-Ng, is working with Fairey's organization, Obey Giant, to plan and promote the mural. Genevieve Redsten, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Artist Shepard Fairey, creator of Obama 'Hope' poster, will paint a voting-rights mural in downtown Milwaukee," 10 July 2020 Each of the eight episodes centers on a deserving couple who gets to plan the wedding of their dreams in one week with the help of Bertaccini, the chef and food expert; event designer Jeremiah Brent; and fashion designer Thai Nguyen. Shaena Montanari, The Arizona Republic, "Meet Phoenix chef Gabriele Bertaccini, one of the stars of Netflix's new series ‘Say I Do’," 10 July 2020 The stop-and-start dynamic has frustrated business owners desperate to bring customers in the door, and who need time to plan and prepare for reopening. Dominic Fracassa,, "San Francisco delays reopening of hair salons, museums, gyms, pools tattoo parlors," 10 July 2020

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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Statistics for plan

Last Updated

3 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for plan


How to pronounce plan- (audio)

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?

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on 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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