\ ˈplant How to pronounce plant (audio) \
planted; planting; plants

Definition of plant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to put or set in the ground for growth plant seeds
b : to set or sow with seeds or plants
c : implant
c : to place (animals) in a new locality
d : to stock with animals
3a : to place in or on the ground
b : to place firmly or forcibly planted a hard blow on his chin
4a : conceal
b : to covertly place for discovery, publication, or dissemination

intransitive verb

: to plant something



Definition of plant (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a young tree, vine, shrub, or herb planted or suitable for planting
b : any of a kingdom (Plantae) of multicellular eukaryotic mostly photosynthetic organisms typically lacking locomotive movement or obvious nervous or sensory organs and possessing cellulose cell walls
2a : the land, buildings, machinery, apparatus, and fixtures employed in carrying on a trade or an industrial business
b : a factory or workshop for the manufacture of a particular product also : power plant
c : the total facilities available for production or service
d : the buildings and other physical equipment of an institution
3 : an act of planting
4 : something or someone planted

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Other Words from plant


plantable \ ˈplan-​tə-​bəl How to pronounce plantable (audio) \ adjective


plantlike \ ˈplant-​ˌlīk How to pronounce plantlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for plant

Synonyms: Verb

drill, put in, seed, sow

Synonyms: Noun

factory, manufactory, mill, shop, works, workshop

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Examples of plant in a Sentence


I planted corn this year. I planted the border with roses. a field planted with corn She planted stakes in the garden to hold the vines. I firmly planted my feet and refused to move. He planted himself in front of the TV and stayed there. Terrorists planted a bomb in the bus station. She claims that the police planted the drugs in her car. He was a spy planted in the office by a rival company. Someone planted a rumor saying that he had died.


The gangsters never suspected that he was a police plant. a furniture plant that employs hundreds of people
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The league’s reigning MVP, Patrick Mahomes, limped off the field with the help of trainers, after Jaguars star Yannick Ngakoue pulled him to the turf with Mahomes’ left foot planted in it. Albert Breer,, "Eye-Opening Weekend: Lamar Jackson, Sammy Watkins, Dak Prescott and the Pats Light It Up," 9 Sep. 2019 This year, around 30 to 40 prisoners participated in the initiative, nurturing trees later planted in 22 of the state’s 103 parks. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Michigan Plants 1,000 ‘Happy Little Trees’ in Honor of Bob Ross," 6 Sep. 2019 This beautiful wine hails from the Itata Valley in southern Chile, one of the first places Spanish missionaries planted grape vines in the 1500s. Dave Mcintyre, Washington Post, "At $20, this aromatic Chilean red blend is actually a massive bargain," 6 Sep. 2019 In the photo, little Winter was cradled up to his mom’s breast as his dad planted a sweet kiss on his head in an intimate family moment. Claudia Harmata,, "Alanis Morissette Breastfeeds Her Son in New Photo as Singer's Husband Gives Baby a Smooch," 3 Sep. 2019 The seeds of Winthrop's big idea are found on farms like Jerry Hamill's in Enfield, North Carolina, where cotton is planted in the spring. CBS News, "Made in USA: Bringing manufacturing jobs back to the homeland," 1 Sep. 2019 However, steady yields and prices have prompted some of the state’s farmers to push the limits, planting sugarcane in what has traditionally been corn and soybean country, an AgCenter news release says. USA TODAY, "Burro bandits, sugarcane shake-up, naked bike ride: News from around our 50 states," 26 Aug. 2019 Those who have registered their gardens will receive the milkweed plants for free, in addition to most of them being planted in public spaces throughout The Woodlands. Jane Stueckemann, Houston Chronicle, "Free milkweed giveaway in The Woodlands to grow monarch butterfly population," 26 Aug. 2019 Dean Lushman, a former Canadian infantryman who had become an instructor with the ranger program, hauled out a sheaf of brownish paper targets, stapled them to sticks, and planted half a dozen in the snow outside our camp. Neil Shea, National Geographic, "A thawing Arctic is heating up a new Cold War," 21 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The plant, operated by Torresol Energy, consists of 2,650 heliostats — mirrors that turn to track the motion of the sun, fanning out around, and reflecting sunlight toward, a 150-meter (490-foot)-high tower. Shweta Narayan, Smithsonian, "How Engineers of New Energy Technology Are Taking Cues From Nature," 31 Aug. 2019 First, get moisture into the ground around plants, especially trees and shrubs. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Our spruce trees are dying. We need to talk about what happens next.," 30 Aug. 2019 Pots, plants, chairs and tables around the pool, our little sailboats — anything that can fly gets moved to a safe place. Washington Post, "Florida’s Atlantic Coast is preparing for a direct hit from Hurricane Dorian," 30 Aug. 2019 The garden’s largest-ever botanical exhibition pays tribute to Brazil’s most renowned landscape architect with lush palm trees and vivid plants, along with a display of paintings and tapestries. Julianne Mcshane, New York Times, "Labor Day Art Guide: Summer Shows to See Before They Close," 29 Aug. 2019 Nearby were roughly 6,000 springy, vibrantly green marijuana plants winding through the arid forest, oddly out of place, and doused with toxic chemicals. Los Angeles Times, "Illegal cannabis farms still scarring public lands, two years after Prop. 64," 29 Aug. 2019 As many as 15-20 detectives a day worked at the plant, going through 30-35 tons of trash daily searching for evidence from trash dumped on Albany Avenue on the night of May 24. Dave Altimari,, "A carpet or mat believed to be tied to Jennifer Dulos’ disappearance was left at a Hartford restaurant the day she went missing, but investigators can’t track it down," 28 Aug. 2019 But plant, nut, and seed oils with high EFA concentrations work too. A.a. Newton, SELF, "Do You Really Need to Put Fatty Acids on Your Face?," 28 Aug. 2019 That even includes a declining number of tomatoes, coaxed along by shading plants (Weathertop Farm in Forestburg) and using greenhouses (D-Bar Farm in Ponder). Kim Pierce, Dallas News, "Find spicy Hatch chile snacks, peak okra and other summer farm goods in Coppell," 27 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'plant.' 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 plant


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for plant


Middle English, from Old English plantian, from Late Latin plantare to plant, fix in place, from Latin, to plant, from planta plant


Middle English plante, from Old English, from Latin planta

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Statistics for plant

Last Updated

15 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for plant

The first known use of plant was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for plant



English Language Learners Definition of plant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to put (a seed, flower, or plant) in the ground to grow
: to fill (an area) with seeds, flowers, or plants
: to put or place (something) in the ground



English Language Learners Definition of plant (Entry 2 of 2)

: a living thing that grows in the ground, usually has leaves or flowers, and needs sun and water to survive
: a building or factory where something is made
US : the land, buildings, and equipment of an organization


\ ˈplant How to pronounce plant (audio) \
planted; planting

Kids Definition of plant

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to place in the ground to grow We'll plant seeds in the spring.
2 : to fill with seeds or plants plant a garden
3 : to set firmly in the ground They planted posts for a fence.
4 : to place firmly He planted himself on the couch.
5 : to introduce as a thought or idea
6 : to place (someone or something) secretly … the teacher thought that he was planted in the audience to pep up the discussion …— E. L. Konigsburg, Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler



Kids Definition of plant (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : any member of the kingdom of many-celled mostly photosynthetic living things (as mosses, ferns, grasses, and trees) that lack a nervous system or sense organs and the ability to move about and that have cellulose cell walls
2 : the buildings and equipment of an industrial business or an institution a power plant

Other Words from plant

plantlike \ ˈplant-​ˌlīk \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on plant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plant

Spanish Central: Translation of plant

Nglish: Translation of plant for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plant for Arabic Speakers

Comments on plant

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


miscellaneous remnants or debris

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