\ 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 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The plan is to start with dinner, served Thursday through Sunday, with the goal of adding Saturday and Sunday brunch. Rick Nelson, Star Tribune, "St. Paul's Augustine reopening soon with new format and new chef," 10 May 2021 According to Harutunian, the plan was to spread out the different job categories within the district to avoid any one segment being sidelined by potential side effects. Steven Goode,, "A Connecticut COVID-19 vaccine clinic for educators sparked outrage and questions, but documents show top officials already knew many of the answers," 10 May 2021 The plan is for the telescope to start recording in 2023. NBC News, "String of satellites baffles residents, bugs astronomers," 10 May 2021 Clifford said the plan is to see how Carter feels on Tuesday and make a decision from that point. Roy Parry,, "What lessons can the Magic learn in their final four games of the season?," 10 May 2021 The plan as of Monday was for Medina Spirit and Baffert’s Concert Tour to travel to Baltimore for the Preakness. Stephen Whyno,, "What would a DQ mean for bettors? Does Bob Baffert have a history of doping horses? Q&A about Medina Spirit’s failed drug test.," 10 May 2021 Joe Biden has proposed a $4 trillion economic plan. John C. Goodman, Forbes, "A Better Plan For Families: Liberation," 8 May 2021 The plan is to see what works in which types of situations, and maybe try that elsewhere in other situations that appear similar. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Lessons learned from ‘slow streets’ experiment could help San Diego boost walking, cycling," 8 May 2021 Ultimately, the plan was to build another passenger rail from Orlando to Miami. Devon Link, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Biden didn't reference building rail line from 'Florida to Tampa'," 6 May 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In fact, almost every Pixar movie works within a specific color palette, a story-specific gamut that filmmakers like Feinberg pull from and use to plan the look of each scene, a road map known as the color script. Adam Rogers, Wired, "How Pixar Uses Hyper-Colors to Hack Your Brain," 29 Apr. 2021 Offensive coordinators probably have lost a lot of sleep trying to plan for facing Watt on defense. Christopher Kuhagen, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "On J.J. Watt's 10-year NFL draft anniversary, here are 10 top moments from his Hall of Fame NFL career," 29 Apr. 2021 Portfolio management requires discipline and the foresight to plan your decisions well in advance, regardless of which way the markets go. Ben Carlson, Fortune, "Bitcoin, Tesla, Ethereum: When should you take profits on your biggest investing winners?," 29 Apr. 2021 As the nationwide coronavirus vaccination campaign gains momentum, many Americans have begun to eagerly plan for a post-pandemic world. Jeremy Bronfman, Forbes, "The Moment To Close The Affordable Housing Gap Is Now: Here’s How We Can Start," 28 Apr. 2021 This would have given us time to plan for a robust and rigorous fall entry. oregonlive, "Jaime Cale’s full response to The Oregonian/OregonLive’s Portland school board candidate questionnaire," 28 Apr. 2021 William and Kate were told about the Key Framework, which is helping to support thousands of young people to build skills and discover their capabilities by encouraging groups of young people to plan, pitch and carry out their own project ideas., "Kate Middleton and Prince William Meet Sheep During Surprise Away-Day to the Country," 27 Apr. 2021 There were concerns that the Super Bowl would be a super spreader event, but that didn't happen and the league has leaned on statistical data to plan for Cleveland. Tom Withers, Star Tribune, "Hello, Cleveland: NFL takes 'blended' draft back on road," 27 Apr. 2021 Tucked away in the transportation budget passed Sunday is $250,000 to plan study and implement a road usage charges program that's been in the works. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Washington state passes downsized $11.8B transportation budget lowering gas tax hike," 27 Apr. 2021

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

12 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Plan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 May. 2021.

Style: MLA
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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?

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plan

Nglish: Translation of plan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plan for Arabic Speakers

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