\ 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 Sure, planting a peck on your baby chick's beak may sound sweet, if not a bit sharp. Scottie Andrew And Maggie Fox, CNN, "Stop kissing or snuggling your poultry, the CDC says. There's a salmonella outbreak in 28 states linked to chicks and ducks," 22 May 2020 The drones can plant 10,000 to 20,000 seed pods every day, and as the technology advances, that number could be upped to 100,000 trees daily, Ahlstrom said. Catherine Garcia, TheWeek, "The week's good news: May 21, 2020," 21 May 2020 In 1933, when 1 in 4 Americans were unemployed, Roosevelt started the Civilian Conservation Corps that provided jobs planting billions of trees and establishing more than 800 parks. Jerry Mitchell, USA TODAY, "Which president would you pick to fight coronavirus? Many historians give FDR the nod," 20 May 2020 Fisk, a new homeowner, was already considering planting a garden. Emily Goodykoontz, Anchorage Daily News, "For many Anchorage residents coping with pandemic, gardening becomes ‘almost a necessary enjoyment’," 19 May 2020 But Collins wastes no time in planting disturbing clues about his true nature. Megan Mccluskey, Time, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes Adds New Dimensions to the One-Note Villainy of The Hunger Games' President Snow," 19 May 2020 In June, 1981, as Khamenei prepared to give a sermon at Tehran’s Abouzar Mosque, a bomb, planted in a tape recorder and placed in front of him, exploded. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "The Twilight of the Iranian Revolution," 18 May 2020 In one spot, long planted with summer garden annuals, the shift to native perennials included plants like Phlox Forever Pink and Echinacea tennesseensis. Margaret Roach, New York Times, "How (and Why) to Use Native Plants," 15 May 2020 Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, launched the five-year program in September 2018 with the goal of planting 10 billion trees across Pakistan by 2023. Nusmila Lohani, The Christian Science Monitor, "Points of Progress: Portugal plans for a green future, and more," 15 May 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Trump also answered multiple questions from Roberts during the trip to the Ford plant, which has been repurposed to produce ventilators and PPE. Brian Stelter, CNN, "In public, Trump bashed Fox. Behind closed doors, he had a friendly chat with its top correspondent," 22 May 2020 Standardizing outbreak control has become an increasingly critical issue for high-risk sites such as nursing homes — which currently make up one-third of deaths nationally — prisons, meat packing plants, and homeless shelters, and others. Howard Koh, STAT, "We need one response — not 50 — to fight Covid-19," 22 May 2020 Of the 100 largest clusters of COVID-19 in the U.S., nearly all have occurred in prisons, meatpacking plants, nursing homes, and psychiatric or developmental-care facilities. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "We Live in a Patchwork Pandemic Now," 20 May 2020 Mulch, plants, trees and grasses also are included. Dallas News, "Sales tax holiday: This is the weekend to buy energy-efficient appliances in Texas," 20 May 2020 The website for Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District also provides educators and curious residents with practical information about pollinators, native plants, stormwater management, erosion control, tree care, pollution reduction and more. Chris M. Worrell, cleveland, "Here’s the buzz on this year’s winners in the Cuyahoga Soil and Water Conservation District poster contest," 20 May 2020 The Superfund cleanup sites are downriver from the century-old plant, which for decades had released chemicals into the nearby waterways. Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times, "Dam Failure Threatens a Dow Chemical Complex and Superfund Cleanup," 20 May 2020 Last month, some of the country’s largest meat processing plants, which control most of the meat going into the country’s food system, stopped operation because of concerns about their workforce and COVID-19. Stephanie Hanes, The Christian Science Monitor, "Where’s the beef? Pandemic exposes cracks in US food system.," 19 May 2020 The Home Depot has patio furniture sets for sale for under $500 with free delivery as well as sales on plants, flowers and fruit trees with free delivery on orders over $45 and up to $30 off outdoor power equipment plus more items. oregonlive, "Memorial Day weekend must-haves on sale: What you need for the predicted sunny holiday," 18 May 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

25 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Plant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 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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More from Merriam-Webster on plant

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plant

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with 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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