\ 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

Dunleavy says the cuts are part of a two-year plan to balance the budget without reductions to Permanent Fund dividend checks and without raising taxes. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "‘In a panic:’ Elimination of senior benefits leaves some of Alaska’s oldest residents with tough choices," 10 Aug. 2019 The solar panels eventually would feed electrical power to JPMorgan’s two three-story office buildings as part of a two-year plan calling for the banking giant’s buildings in more than 60 countries to be completely dependent on renewable energy. Martin E. Comas,, "Trees or solar panels? JPMorgan plans to chop 150 trees at Seminole parking lots for solar canopies," 9 Aug. 2019 Commissioners this month are expected to approve details of the safety plan that would dedicate $600 million over two years to address the issue. USA TODAY, "Emoji house, Saharan dust, turtle crossing: News from around our 50 states," 8 Aug. 2019 The Democrat has proposed a new tax on Americans with assets of $50 million or more as part of a plan to reverse wealth inequality. Matt Egan, CNN, "Hedge fund manager Kyle Bass wants Elizabeth Warren to be president: She 'would be a problem' for China," 8 Aug. 2019 The campaign, announced in February, is part of a plan developed by the county health department. Jess Nocera,, "Howard County airing suicide prevention PSA in select movie theaters," 8 Aug. 2019 As part of that plan, DHS official George Selim was put in charge of leading these efforts as director of an interagency task force in 2016. Vera Bergengruen, Time, "‘We Are Being Eaten From Within.’ Why America Is Losing the Battle Against White Nationalist Terrorism," 8 Aug. 2019 The council voted 5-1 in favor of the plan, with councilman Kurt P. Cavanaugh as the lone dissenting vote. Peter Marteka,, "Marriott AC Hotel approved as Glastonbury’s third hotel," 7 Aug. 2019 And despite the money being poured into Eskom, there is no clear indication of the overall plan to stabilize the utility’s finances. Seán Mfundza Muller, Quartz Africa, "South Africa’s economy is in a perilous state and is running out of time to get fixed," 7 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The researchers plan to return to Fincha Havera for additional excavations, according to Zimmer. Brigit Katz, Smithsonian, "Archaeologists Uncover Evidence of an Ancient High-Altitude Human Dwelling," 10 Aug. 2019 The developers plan to build a formal entry for the project on the east side of I-45. Steve Brown, Dallas News, "Big Ellis County development could bring thousands of new homes," 9 Aug. 2019 But as the world becomes increasingly wireless, U.S. regulators plan to open more of those airwaves to tech companies. Millicent Dent And Stephen Cunningham, Houston Chronicle, "Power and tech giants fight over airwaves space in the U.S.," 9 Aug. 2019 Some retailers plan to raise prices for holiday season by 10% to 20% ,while others may wait until next year, Jay Foreman, CEO of Basic Fun! Rachel Layne, CBS News, "5 things to consider buying before new U.S. tariffs on China kick in Sept. 1," 9 Aug. 2019 The scientists plan to use their research to develop algorithms that could glean data from helmet accelerometers and signal when a player has sustained dangerous levels of damage. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Just one season of playing football—even without a concussion—can cause brain damage," 7 Aug. 2019 Protesters plan to head to the airport again this coming Friday. Amy Gunia, Time, "Australia Raises Travel Warning for Hong Kong Amid Protests," 7 Aug. 2019 The Warriors plan to further rely on their player development staff to develop Alfonzo McKinnie, second-year guard Jacob Evans as well as rookies Jordan Poole, Eric Paschall and Alen Smailagic. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Warriors’ Steve Kerr on emulating Spurs’ success: ‘It may be a pipe dream’," 7 Aug. 2019 And House leaders plan to keep the issue of extremist violence in the public view. New York Times, "‘Red Flag’ Gun Control Bills Pick Up Momentum With G.O.P. in Congress," 6 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.

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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

12 Aug 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

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


of or relating to the heavens

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