\ ˈplant \
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 \ adjective


plantlike \ ˈplant-​ˌlīk \ 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

Water Immediately after planting the grass seed, water the area with an oscillating sprinkler or adjustable fan-spray sprinkler. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Plant Grass Seed for a New Lawn," 23 Jan. 2019 Hoecker has seed trays, about 20 inches by 10 inches, that contain either 50 planted seeds of Douglas fir or 50 seeds of lodgepole pine, as well as control trays with zero seeds. Kristen Pope, Discover Magazine, "Wildfire Engulfed Yellowstone 30 Years Ago. Its Recovery Could Predict The Future of the West," 12 Nov. 2018 Within a couple of days, other members of the community planted dozens of flowers alongside Mrs. Reoven and Victoria's initial offerings. Isabella Gomez, Teen Vogue, "A Parkland Survivor and Teacher Started #ProjectGrowLove to Honor Those Whose Lives Were Lost," 11 Jan. 2019 Warren has planted a firm flag in the other camp, arguing that the right way to fight Trump on trade is to cast him as a faker. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Elizabeth Warren wants to outflank Trump on trade," 29 Nov. 2018 Even the French have taken heed: famed wine family Taittinger planted its first vines in Chilham last year and English sparkling wine secured more gold medals than Champagne at the 2018 Sommelier Wine Awards. Tyler Wetherall, Condé Nast Traveler, "Kent Is Poised to Be the U.K.'s Napa Valley," 14 Sep. 2018 That's correct, friends: Brianna made it through the stones and lasted approximately two minutes before face-planting down a hill and spraining her ankle. Mehera Bonner, Harper's BAZAAR, "Outlander Just Aired the Best Episode of the Season So Far," 17 Dec. 2018 Be sure the soil is uniformly moist before planting. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Container Gardening," 13 Aug. 2018 Hold off on planting any new plants until the heat breaks. Sally Mccabe,, "July 6-12: In the garden, it's time to…," 5 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

From fresh flowers to plants and trees, greenery not only helps to add freshness to a space but will also help improve overall indoor air quality. 10. Cathy Hobbs, The Seattle Times, "Snowbound? It’s a great time to get hygge," 11 Feb. 2019 Over eons, plant and animal remains (not to mention hominins) have been found in the caves. Lydia Pyne, Ars Technica, "Rising Star found a new species—now it wants to find a new way for paleoanthropology," 20 Dec. 2018 Frigg met with all living things (plants and animals) urging them not to harm her son. Adam Schubak, Country Living, "Here's How Kissing Under the Mistletoe Became a Christmas Tradition," 29 Nov. 2018 The Toloa Reserve, the last remaining forest area on mainland Tonga, is home to several dozen species of plants and trees that have many uses: producing fruit (including durian and plums), timber, medicine, oils and much more. Isabel Greenberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle Laughed So Hard She Cried During a Choir Performance in Tonga," 26 Oct. 2018 To maximize both plant (and human) access to sunlight, the architects removed most of the particle board interior walls and built a large skylight, which allows sun to illuminate the third floor where the living room is. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Renovated home comes with its own floating greenhouse," 24 Oct. 2018 Once complete, several months of testing will be needed at the plant and then onsite for brakes, electronics and other systems. Phil Diehl,, "Coaster train to get five new locomotives," 12 July 2018 As for Optane itself, Intel’s message was that it won’t be hampered by one-time partner Micron’s decision to buy up the plant that Intel and Micron used to manufacture Optane, more generically known as 3D XPoint. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Intel addresses processor shortages, CEO hunt after reporting disappointing fourth-quarter results," 24 Jan. 2019 Doubleday ended up publishing the novel, although not before sending its own investigators to the plants to verify the details. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "We have food safety laws thanks to 19th century “poison squad”," 26 Nov. 2018

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

17 Feb 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 \
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

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