\ 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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The broader alliance, called OPEC+, agreed last year to roll out small, monthly increases as part of a plan to raise output to prepandemic levels. Benoit Faucon, WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 Maria Penuelas is among the community activists who pushed for passage of the community plan. Tammy Murga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 1 Aug. 2022 That doesn’t seem to translate to any big change of plan, though, and most likely will result in slowing the rollout slightly—just enough to give the uproar time to die down. Wired, 1 Aug. 2022 Our guests this morning, the architect of the plan, Senator Joe Manchin, the GOP response from Senator Bill Cassidy. ABC News, 31 July 2022 The surprise political revival of some parts of the Build Back Better plan brings with it the potential for massive federal action on climate change, drug costs, and corporate taxes. Sebastian Blanco, Car and Driver, 30 July 2022 Reds manager David Bell said Friday that Fraley was always part of the plan going into this season. Adam Baum, The Enquirer, 29 July 2022 Helicopter surveillance is always part of the plan for an event such as Lollapalooza, Guidice said, giving police a clear view. Jake Sheridan, Chicago Tribune, 28 July 2022 The second floor includes an education center, part of a plan envisioned by Rachel Robinson. CBS News, 27 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The European Union, African Union, U.S. and others plan to send observation teams to polling stations. Michael M. Phillips, WSJ, 2 Aug. 2022 Now, owners Chad and Monica Kaneshiro plan to reopen Morning Wood at 514 Peninsula Ave. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 2 Aug. 2022 So, in the face of unpredictable conditions, how can businesses plan their supply chains with more confidence? Dorothy Li, Forbes, 1 Aug. 2022 The duo, along with Mia Toretto (Jordana Brewster), plan a heist to steal from a corrupt businessman. Olivia Munson, USA TODAY, 29 July 2022 If one of their tickets is a winner, the leaders of the company plan to split the billion-dollar prize evenly among its employees, meaning each worker would receive about $13,000. Itzel Luna, Los Angeles Times, 29 July 2022 The owners of this restaurant and gastropub, which started in Scottsdale and recently opened on High Street, plan to open a third location as part of Verde at Cooley Station. Bahar Anooshahr, The Arizona Republic, 29 July 2022 The couple plan to offer pottery classes for guests at nearby Endiadi Ceramic studio and truffle-hunting excursions with their dog, Wilma, a Lagotto Romagnolo. New York Times, 29 July 2022 The two airlines plan to operate independently until the acquisition is completed. Aaron Gregg, Washington Post, 28 July 2022 See More

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.

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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Last Updated

4 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plan.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for plan


\ 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

Nglish: Translation of plan for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plan for Arabic Speakers


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