\ ˈplät How to pronounce plot (audio) \

Definition of plot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : a small area of planted ground a vegetable plot
b : a small piece of land in a cemetery
c : a measured piece of land : lot
3 : the plan or main story (as of a movie or literary work)
4 [perhaps back-formation from complot] : a secret plan for accomplishing a usually evil or unlawful end : intrigue
5 : a graphic representation (such as a chart)


\ ˈplät How to pronounce plot (audio) \
plotted; plotting

Definition of plot (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1a : to make a plot, map, or plan of
b : to mark or note on or as if on a map or chart
2 : to lay out in plots (see plot entry 1 sense 1)
3a : to locate (a point) by means of coordinates
b : to locate (a curve) by plotted points
c : to represent (an equation) by means of a curve so constructed
4 : to plan or contrive especially secretly
5 : to invent or devise the plot of (something, such as a movie or a literary work)

intransitive verb

1 : to form a plot : scheme
2 : to be located by means of coordinates the data plot at a single point

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Other Words from plot


plotless \ ˈplät-​ləs How to pronounce plotless (audio) \ adjective
plotlessness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for plot


plot, intrigue, machination, conspiracy, cabal mean a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end. plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme. an assassination plot intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity. backstairs intrigue machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means. the machinations of a party boss conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery. a conspiracy to fix prices cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence. a cabal among powerful senators

synonyms see in addition plan

Examples of plot in a Sentence

Noun Her books are page-turners, and yet there is more going on in them than just the mechanics of a clever plot — Robin McKinley, New York Times Book Review, 17 May 1987 … as he stood before the great dripping department store which now occupied the big plot of ground where once had stood both the Amberson Hotel and the Amberson Opera House. — Booth Tarkington, The Magnificent Ambersons, 1918 When I returned with the pistol the table had been cleared, and Holmes was engaged in his favourite occupation of scraping upon his violin. "The plot thickens," he said, as I entered … — Arthur Conan Doyle, A Study in Scarlet, 1887 The plots are selling for $15,000 per acre. They just bought a 12-acre plot of land. The book's plot revolves around a woman who is searching for her missing sister. The movie has a weak plot. Police uncovered a plot to assassinate the prime minister. The prime minister was the target of an assassination plot. Verb While men plotted wars or devised philosophies, women were confined within their homes … — Barbara Ehrenreich, Ms., Winter 2007 Would-be nation builders plotted Italy's unification from the south and the north. — David Van Biema, Time, 4 Sept. 2000 They plotted to steal the painting. She spent her years in prison plotting her revenge. We've been plotting growth strategies for the company. She carefully plotted her career path. They've plotted the locations where the trees will be planted. Have you plotted the route for your trip yet? Students plotted soil temperatures on a graph throughout the school year.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun So the fact that Jerry has thickened the plot in recent weeks with some of his public comments isn’t exactly new territory for Garrett. Usa Today Sports, USA TODAY, "NFL roundtable: Which players, coaches are under most pressure in final month?," 29 Nov. 2019 From there, the water flows on and nourishes plots of date palms enclosed in a labyrinth of homes and narrow streets. Ian James, azcentral, "Ancient aqueducts in Oman imperiled by modern wells and climate change," 28 Nov. 2019 Granular details of the Russians plot are sprinkled throughout WADA’s previously confidential 89-page report, which was obtained by the AP., "Flames coach probed," 27 Nov. 2019 The plot mirrors Roger’s own father’s death during World War II. Jordan Runtagh,, "The Wall at 40: Illustrator Gerald Scarfe Recalls Designing Pink Floyd’s Multimedia Masterpiece," 27 Nov. 2019 Shyamalan's a deeply ambitious filmmaker in this sense, given to labyrinthine plots with wild twist endings, and his vision often escapes his grasp. Isaac Feldberg, Fortune, "What to Watch (and Skip) in Theaters and on Netflix This Thanksgiving Weekend," 27 Nov. 2019 President Donald Trump, at his pre-Thanksgiving campaign rally in Florida, made a startling claim: there’s a sinister plot brewing — to change the name of Thanksgiving. Anthony Man,, "President Donald Trump declares there’s a war on Thanksgiving — and vows to stop it," 27 Nov. 2019 Ousamequin puts down multiple plots to wipe out the colony and unseat him. Claire Bugos, Smithsonian, "The Myths of the Thanksgiving Story and the Lasting Damage They Imbue," 27 Nov. 2019 Even those who farmed plots closest to the mouth of the volcano never worried. Kevin Sieff, Washington Post, "Under the volcano," 27 Nov. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The other has connections to left-leaning activists whom the government has accused of plotting to kill the prime minister and of inciting violence in Bhima Koregaon, near Mumbai, in 2017. New York Times, "Spyware Maker NSO Promises Reform but Keeps Snooping," 10 Nov. 2019 Others plotted riskier escapes through tunnels, on hot air balloons, and even via train. Erin Blakemore, National Geographic, "Why the Berlin Wall rose—and how it fell," 8 Nov. 2019 An alleged white supremacist was arrested in Colorado for plotting to blow up one of the state’s oldest synagogues, federal court records released Monday show. Tim Stelloh, NBC News, "Alleged white supremacist charged in plot to blow up Colorado synagogue," 4 Nov. 2019 In January this year, at a courthouse in Wichita, Kansas, three members of a right-wing militia group were sentenced to a combined total of 81 years in jail for plotting the mass murder of Muslims on American soil. Dan Jones, Time, "What the Far Right Gets Wrong About the Crusades," 10 Oct. 2019 Ismail was also an associate of James Medina , who is serving a 25-year prison sentence for plotting to blow up a South Florida synagogue and Jewish school. Curt Anderson,, "20 years in prison for Broward man who posted bomb guides," 19 July 2019 Phoenix’s, by contrast, is very much the sum of his many broken parts, the solution to a psychological equation that has been plotted out with meticulous care and depressing rigor. Los Angeles Times, "Review: Joaquin Phoenix puts on quite a show in ‘Joker.’ And the portrait of madness is both bleak and glib," 1 Oct. 2019 The track’s future has been plotted many times over, from the home of a new gleaming casino to Amazon’s second headquarters. Shirley Leung,, "Can the new Suffolk Downs avoid the mistakes of the Seaport District?," 5 Sep. 2019 By contrast, the newer Polaris seats are plotted out 1-2-1. Eric Rosen, Condé Nast Traveler, "The World's Best Business Class Seats, and How to Fly Them on Points and Miles," 21 Aug. 2019

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


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


1588, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for plot

Noun and Verb

Middle English, from Old English

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Time Traveler for plot

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for plot

Last Updated

2 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Plot.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 15 December 2019.

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More Definitions for plot


How to pronounce plot (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of plot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an area of land that has been measured and is considered as a unit
: a usually small piece of land that is used for a particular purpose
: a series of events that form the story in a novel, movie, etc.


How to pronounce plot (audio)

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

: to plan secretly to do something usually illegal or harmful
: to plan (something)
: to mark (something, such as a location or path) on a map, graph, chart, etc.


\ ˈplät How to pronounce plot (audio) \

Kids Definition of plot

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a secret usually evil scheme
2 : the plan or main story of a play or novel
3 : a small area of ground a garden plot


plotted; plotting

Kids Definition of plot (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to plan or scheme secretly usually to do something bad
2 : to make a plan of Have you plotted your route?

Other Words from plot

plotter noun

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More from Merriam-Webster on plot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plot

Spanish Central: Translation of plot

Nglish: Translation of plot for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of plot for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about plot

Comments on plot

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


delight or enjoyment

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