\ 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


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

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 Governments have long struggled to fulfil their capital-spending plans. The Economist, "Labour and the Tories plan to borrow billions. But can they spend it?," 16 Nov. 2019 Their plan comes as the governor is trying to gain support for his transportation proposal, which would add tolls to 14 locations across the state’s highways., "Nov. 15, 2019: Look both ways before crossing," 15 Nov. 2019 Her plan to pass a public option before pivoting to single-payer is too clever for its own good. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "Elizabeth Warren Retreats From Medicare for All," 15 Nov. 2019 McIngvale elaborated on his plan, by adding that all of the three schools would be located near the Gallery Furniture located on 6006 North Freeway. Alison Medley, Houston Chronicle, "'It’s a win-win for everybody’: Mattress Mack slated to open 2 schools on Houston’s north side," 14 Nov. 2019 The impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump’s dealings with Ukraine has offered a living lab into the Constitution, one that teachers are upending their lesson plans to ensure their students understand. The Christian Science Monitor, "pork says about Chinese identity," 13 Nov. 2019 Beshear, meanwhile, has moved forward with his transition plans. Sarah Ladd, The Courier-Journal, "Teachers to serve as grand marshals in inauguration parade, Andy Beshear says," 13 Nov. 2019 Sanders—along with architect Harold Smith of Smith & Moore Architects, design architect Angelo Davila, and landscape architect Fernando Wong—worked with Palm Beach’s Landmarks Preservation Commission on their plans. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Inside the Painstaking Renovation of "the Grey Gardens of Palm Beach"," 12 Nov. 2019 But brands should be strategic with their plan and have better reasons to dive right in to engage with the super active users who make time spent on Facebook look like kindergarten. Abhik Choudhury, Quartz India, "A dummies guide to running brand campaigns on TikTok in India," 11 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Huntsville historic preservationists are planning to remove, protect and remount the city’s the most iconic downtown store windows: the front display windows of Harrison Brothers Hardware on the courthouse square. Lee Roop |, al, "Historic Harrison Brothers Hardware getting a window treatment," 14 Nov. 2019 The council also voted to send $75,000 of that year's surplus to the Louisville Zoo for its 50th anniversary celebration, while still putting $500,000 into the rainy day fund, as was planned. Darcy Costello, The Courier-Journal, "Louisville has a $4 million year-end surplus. Here's how Mayor Fischer wants to spend it," 14 Nov. 2019 The two are planning on taking an avant-garde approach to the menu inspired by gastropub fare and modern steakhouses. Grace Wong,, "New Gold Coast spot with live music, rustic American fare in Aurora, and more Chicagoland restaurant openings and closings," 13 Nov. 2019 Unlike most Netflix shows, episodes of The Mandalorian will be released weekly, with the next installment due out Friday and then six more planned for the rest of the year. David Sims, The Atlantic, "The Mandalorian Is a Flashy but Flimsy Star Wars Story," 12 Nov. 2019 Throughout America and here in Carroll County, community members are planning to thank veterans who have fought to preserve our rights by placing wreaths on graves, all on the same date and time: noon on Dec. 14. Lois Szymanski,, "Wreaths Across America spreads tradition honoring veterans to more Carroll County cemeteries," 11 Nov. 2019 Strike organizers are planning a major global protest on Black Friday directed at COP25 decision-makers. Cristine Russell, Quartz, "Global leaders are facing one of the scariest years of climate change yet," 9 Nov. 2019 Now officials are planning a program to educate students about hate and discrimination and the power of symbols. Peter Marteka,, "Swastikas found at Glastonbury elementary school," 7 Nov. 2019 Gallium compounds, for example, are critical to highly sensitive new radar systems that the U.S. Navy plans to deploy in order to enable commanders to track high-speed weapons being developed by China and Russia. Christopher R. O'dea, National Review, "Mike Pompeo’s View of China," 7 Nov. 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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Statistics for plan

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Plan.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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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?



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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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