\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

To make a great panorama, keep your feet firmly planted on the ground and don't move them, extending your body from left to right instead. Jefferson Graham, USA TODAY, "7 Tips for taking great July 4th fireworks photos on your smartphone," 3 July 2019 The incident took place in the town of Kagaznagar where the forest department was planting saplings as part of a tree plantation drive on Sunday. Manveena Suri, CNN, "Indian police arrest 26 after mob attack hospitalizes female forest ranger," 3 July 2019 Sixty-three-year-old Hermine Ricketts and her 60-year-old husband Tom Carroll planted jalapenos, green bell peppers and other vegetables on Monday when the bill went into effect. Washington Post, "Florida couple’s front-yard garden legal after 6-year battle," 2 July 2019 Sixty-three-year-old Hermine Ricketts and her 60-year-old husband Tom Carroll planted jalapenos, green bell peppers and other vegetables on Monday when the bill went into effect. Marcus Lim,, "South Florida couple replant front-yard vegetable garden, now that it’s legal," 2 July 2019 Trees are available to businesses if planted on village parkways. Rachel K. Hindery,, "Franklin Park helps new business create a sustainable garden," 1 July 2019 Bush bought the house and immediately planted almost 60 trees on the property. Hannah Morrill, ELLE Decor, "Inside Sophia Bush’s Incredible Renovation of a Classic 1950s Bungalow in Los Angeles," 24 June 2019 The flooding that devastated the Midwest this spring damaged infrastructure and prevented farmers from getting crops planted on time. Sara Harrison, WIRED, "The Midwest's Farms Face an Intense, Crop-Killing Future," 18 June 2019 These trees will be available for planting on either public or private land. Mary Mcintyre, Lake County News-Sun, "After beetle wiped out 20% of parkway trees in Winthrop Harbor, federal grant will help restock the village," 14 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Any mix of soft herbs can replace some of the parsley; at my house that means a big handful of basil from my jaunty new plant. Christina Chaey, Bon Appétit, "Forget the House Cocktail, I Have a House Dip," 5 July 2019 Earth was largely inhospitable then because ash clouds blocked sunlight, cooling the planet and destroying plant life. Ashley Strickland, CNN, "The weird Upside Down science behind 'Stranger Things'," 4 July 2019 Water: Your plants and the microbes that support them are not used to 80-degree weather. Jeff Lowenfels, Anchorage Daily News, "Hilling potatoes, flowering lettuce, and other reader questions," 4 July 2019 Much of the frustration with tourism stems from small acts of self-importance — parking in the roadway to grab a quick photo or trampling delicate plant life to get a better view of the bluffs. Sarah Feldberg,, "How to do Big Sur the right way," 3 July 2019 Ducey's influence on the city incentives or Nike's decision to open its third U.S. manufacturing plant in Goodyear is unclear. Joshua Bowling, azcentral, "Goodyear officials silent as Gov. Doug Ducey says Arizona 'doing fine without Nike'," 2 July 2019 This year Voestalpine plans to open its first plant in Linz to experiment with making the stuff with clean hydrogen instead of dirty coking coal. The Economist, "The European steel industry is being clobbered," 28 June 2019 Employees working out of an existing facility near its Fremont manufacturing plant are developing battery cell prototypes, and new manufacturing processes to mass produce cells. Echo Huang, Quartz, "Bye-bye Panasonic? Tesla is working on making its own batteries," 27 June 2019 Pratt & Whitney previously announced it’s spending up to $45 million to expand its West Palm Beach, Fla., plant to meet rising demand for maintenance, repair and overhaul. Stephen Singer,, "Pratt & Whitney to expand military jet engine repair and service work in Oklahoma," 24 June 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plant

Statistics for plant

Last Updated

7 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plant

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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).


to form ideas or theories about something

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


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!