\ 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

Other Words from plot


plotless \ ˈplät-​ləs How to pronounce plot (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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Simply put, the conspiracy theory says there's a plot to diminish the influence of white people. David Bauder, ajc, 16 May 2022 Simply put, the conspiracy theory says there’s a plot to diminish the influence of white people. The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 May 2022 The idea is simply that many different kinds of social change are connected to a plot by a cabal of élites to eradicate the white race, which people in this movement believe is their nation. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 15 May 2022 Court records indicate the guilty plea is in connection to a previous plot reportedly devised by the trio in October 2020 to kill Kelley by poisoning the man's soup. Lawrence Andrea, The Indianapolis Star, 13 May 2022 In a plot that's a cross between Who Framed Roger Rabbit (who makes an appearance) and 2011's The Muppets, the Rescue Rangers reunite after 30 years when toons start disappearing, including their former co-star Gadget. Lauren Morgan,, 13 May 2022 On a grassy plot of land on the outskirts of Amsterdam, protesters recently sent a message to Mr. Putin through his daughter Maria. New York Times, 13 May 2022 The statue, some 5 feet, 7 inches tall, was commissioned by the University of Windsor and stands near the school of social work on a plot that fittingly used to belong to the Windsor Star. Neal Rubin, Detroit Free Press, 12 May 2022 In the movie, Montagu (who was and remained married) and Cholmondeley (who was single) heatedly pursue Leslie (who married someone else years later), but the triangle was magnified greatly to avoid a purely procedural plot, says Madden. Marco Della Cava, USA TODAY, 11 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb When she was laid off last year, the 25-year-old came back to Decatur to waitress, tend bar and plot a new path. Michael E. Kanell, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 Prosecutors said the murder was the most egregious of the violent crimes that Briones helped plot and carry out on the reservation about 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Phoenix. Felicia Fonseca, The Arizona Republic, 10 Apr. 2022 The Justice Department and the House committee are both investigating the fake electors plot within the context of what unfolded on January 6 and Trump's broader effort to overturn the election. Ryan Nobles, Zachary Cohen And Annie Grayer, CNN, 8 Apr. 2022 Other vessels within about a 23-mile radius can pick up the signals and plot them relative to themselves and other ships in the area. Tim De Chant, Ars Technica, 28 Mar. 2022 These sequences sometimes underline the reliance on too much over-the-top cartoonish action, however, with borderline bonkers plot developments breathlessly deployed at a clip recalling the movie’s video game origins. Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 Mar. 2022 Today Berry is the senior executive assistant to the CEO of the South Bay Workforce Investment Board, helping other people prepare for and plot their careers. Los Angeles Times, 19 Mar. 2022 Prosecutors had opposed Robeson testifying, alleging he was supposed to be an informant but was actually helping the group plot out Whitmer's kidnapping. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 31 Mar. 2022 Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers worked Thursday to plot out their next steps. Andrew J. Tobias, cleveland, 18 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About plot

Time Traveler for plot

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near plot



plot's elm

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Statistics for plot

Last Updated

18 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for plot


\ 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

More from Merriam-Webster on plot

Nglish: Translation of plot for Spanish Speakers

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


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