\ 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 : 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

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of plant in a Sentence

Verb 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. Noun 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 In honor of the institute’s first corps of compassionistas, the city’s Parks and Recreation Department will plant 20,000 trees, or groves, on each of their campuses. Elaine Ayala,, "Ayala: San Antonio becomes first city to develop ‘compassionistas’," 12 Sep. 2020 The company calculates the amount of carbon emitted by its packaging and shipping, and donates money to plant trees to offset those emissions. Kami Phillips, CNN Underscored, "Build the wardrobe of your dreams with these clothing subscription boxes," 11 Sep. 2020 The jewelry store will plant a small tree for every engagement ring purchased. Shelby Stewart, Houston Chronicle, "Engagement rings and planting trees unite for a perfect union," 8 Sep. 2020 On his return trip, Mr. Macron will plant a tree in Beirut on Tuesday to mark the centenary and meet with Lebanese officials to push them toward forming a government and enacting reforms. Bassem Mroue, The Christian Science Monitor, "Lebanon at 100: Upheaval, crises, a new prime minister," 31 Aug. 2020 Altogether, the participants will plant, restore, and conserve more than 855 million trees in the United States by 2030. Abby Smith, Washington Examiner, "US gets started on 'trillion trees' project," 27 Aug. 2020 Once the palms are mostly gone, crews will plant native trees, especially the giant Pisonia and the tree heliotrope. Kenneth R. Weiss, Science | AAAS, "To save this palm-filled paradise, biologists must kill the trees," 27 Aug. 2020 Community Greening has a goal to plant 10,000 trees in Delray Beach. Scott Luxor,, "Nonprofit plants trees - and hope - in neighborhoods of need," 21 Aug. 2020 Whiteside appealed to residents and organizations to plant more trees, both to help the environment and to promote natural beauty. Nara Schoenberg,, "With thousands of trees felled by Monday’s storm, residents of hard-hit neighborhoods lament lost shade and greenery: ‘This is going to be very devastating’," 14 Aug. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ford Motor Company revealed Thursday an audacious plan to build a $700 million plant at the Rouge complex that would create the first all-electric F-150, the nation's best-selling vehicle. Phoebe Wall Howard, Detroit Free Press, "Ford reveals plan for $700M plant, jobs at Rouge plus all-electric Ford F-150 secrets," 18 Sep. 2020 Think about how a plant might bloom during an early spring thaw and then be frozen when seasonal weather resumes. Caroline Delbert, Popular Mechanics, "Hundreds of Thousands of Birds Are Suddenly Dropping Dead. No One Knows Why.," 17 Sep. 2020 While that water does not go through a treatment plant, it is pulled from the bottom and middle of the reservoirs, not the surface. oregonlive, "Wildfire ash has not harmed Portland-area tap water," 16 Sep. 2020 Residents living near Baltimore’s Hillen neighborhood and around Lake Montebello are being asked to shelter in place while firefighters investigate a chlorine spill from a local filtration plant. Mckenna Oxenden,, "Residents asked to shelter in place after chlorine spill in Northeast Baltimore at local filtration plant," 16 Sep. 2020 The Estonian material, on the other hand, is a byproduct of tantalum and niobium production at a metals plant near the Baltic Sea. Zak Podmore, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Radioactive material from Japan is heading to San Juan County," 16 Sep. 2020 Trump rallied with thousands of supporters Sunday inside a Las Vegas-area manufacturing plant. David M. Drucker, Washington Examiner, "'A huge risk': Trump bets reelection on pandemic recovery," 15 Sep. 2020 All the nominees successfully met the creative challenges of pandemic production, but only four-time winner John Oliver engaged in a headline-making faux feud with the mayor of Danbury, Conn., over a sewage plant. Kristen Baldwin,, "Emmys 2020: Who should win, and who will win," 15 Sep. 2020 Solidago shortii is a delightful plant that is doing its best to brighten days right now. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, "This celebrated Kentucky botanist is the namesake behind this perfect garden goldenrod," 12 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for plant

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for plant

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for plant


How to pronounce plant (audio)

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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