\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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.
See More
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 Another major change planned for next year, Goubert explained, will be the way the bikes are charged. Jonathan Hawkins, CNN, "MotoE's electric dream on track as debut season closes," 29 Nov. 2019 Witnesses said dozens of people gathered near the perimeter fence near Khan Younis in the southern Gaza Strip, though there was no official demonstration planned for Friday., "News of the Day From Around the World, Nov. 29," 29 Nov. 2019 The Ross plan goals and planning for reducing the achievement gap between black and white students are incorporated in annual plans prepared by every school in the Jacksonville district, Powell wrote. Cynthia Howell, Arkansas Online, "Court reports call schools' efforts 'admirable'," 29 Nov. 2019 The Federal Energy Regulator Commission granted Algonquin Gas Transmission, LLC’s request to start the construction of the station, which is planned for a four-acre parcel on the banks of the Fore River., "Federal energy officials gave final approval Wednesday to a controversial natural gas compressor station in Weymouth, a decision that drew sharp rebukes from local advocates who say the station will pose health and safety risks to the community.," 28 Nov. 2019 The total number of houses planned for the neighborhood was 350, but those numbers never came to fruition. Micah Walker, Detroit Free Press, "How Henry Ford helped create historic Dearborn neighborhood that's still popular today," 27 Nov. 2019 Treatment plans for patients are often generic and deficient, resulting in yearslong stays with little progress. Josh Kovner,, "Disability Rights group finds ‘pervasive’ problems remain after scandals at Whiting Forensic and Connecticut Valley Hospitals," 26 Nov. 2019 Meanwhile, plans for a hotel at River 1 will likely be announced within 60 days, Williams said. Tom Daykin, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Apartment building at River 1 development in Milwaukee's Harbor District has March construction start," 26 Nov. 2019 The first Kasai and Koori had a soft debut last week in Boynton Beach in the Canyon Town Center, with a grander, splashier opening planned for Dec. 6-7. Rod Stafford Hagwood,, "Mount Fuji-inspired Asian desserts sweeten South Florida’s restaurant scene," 26 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plan

Statistics for plan

Last Updated

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Plan.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to state or do over again or repeatedly

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Semantic Drift Quiz

  • a twisty river
  • Which of the following was once a synonym for fun?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!