\ 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 The gifts just arrived early for fans of the hokey holiday plot lines of Hallmark’s extensive Christmas movies series. Stephanie Toone, ajc, "Holiday dream job? Get paid $1,000 to watch Hallmark Christmas movies," 15 Nov. 2019 The series will introduce a plot line involving a new black insurgent movement which emerges to battle the forces of Nazism and imperialism. Paula Bernstein, Fortune, "‘The Man in the High Castle’ Team on What to Expect in the Final Season," 14 Nov. 2019 Unionville followed by burial in the family plot at Greenwood Cemetery, Avon., "Adrienne Parsons," 14 Nov. 2019 The plot offers a lot of room for imagination on set designs. Domenica Bongiovanni, Indianapolis Star, "IndyCar driver Zach Veach will be in an opera with a vintage car. Here's what you'll see.," 14 Nov. 2019 Moore et al have already mapped out plot lines that stretch into the middle of the 1970s. Wired, "For All Mankind Imagines an Alternate History for NASA," 11 Nov. 2019 Addams Family Values The sequel to The Addams Family features an incredible plot line in which Christina Ricci’s Wednesday Addams stages a spectacular reproduction of the story of Thanksgiving at her summer camp. Vogue, "The 15 Best Thanksgiving Movies You Totally Forgot Were Set on the Holiday," 22 Oct. 2019 The plot lines are changing and the stakes are changing and the villains are changing. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Kiernan Shipka Opens Up About "Chilling Adventures of Sabrina" Season 3 and Her Fun Halloween Plans," 22 Oct. 2019 One of the intriguing plot lines in the smallsat launch race is not only the development of new dedicated rockets but also efforts by SpaceX, Chinese companies, and Russia to re-position their boosters as viable options for rideshare missions. Eric Berger, Ars Technica, "Rocket Report: Virgin Orbit targets Mars, SpaceX to launch rideshares on time," 11 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb 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 The fans rally around their forlorn hero, the narrative of worthwhile revenge is plotted, and redemption is found., "Anatomy of a Headbutt: OTD in 2006 Zinedine Zidane Was Sent Off in the World Cup Final," 9 July 2019 The play is plotted around the mistreatment of an elderly nobleman by his two daughters. Linda R. Phillips, The Conversation, "Elder abuse increasing, without increased awareness," 14 June 2019 The movie's debut is a victory for the slew of gender-swapping spinoffs and remakes being plotted by Hollywood studios. Pamela Mcclintock, The Hollywood Reporter, "Weekend Box Office: 'Ocean's 8' Steals the Show With $41.5M Opening," 10 June 2018 The Trump campaign argues yes and has put it — along with Nevada, New Hampshire and Minnesota — on the short list of states that Trump lost in 2016 and is plotting to win in 2020. Washington Post, "Trump targets border state with rally amid defiant Democrats," 15 Sep. 2019 Other army types are reported to be plotting for the succession. The Economist, "Even in death, Robert Mugabe worries his successor," 14 Sep. 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

18 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Plot.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 21 November 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

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