\ 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

Keep scrolling for more

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


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.


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

In 2006, President George W. Bush acknowledged for the first time that the CIA was running secret prisons overseas and said tough interrogation had forced terrorist leaders to reveal plots to attack the United States and its allies., "This day in history," 6 Sep. 2019 The lawsuit traces the extortion plot to the attorney general's public crackdown on Executive Car Rental in January. Joe Guillen, Detroit Free Press, "Dana Nessel campaign consultant extorted local car rental business, lawsuit claims," 6 Sep. 2019 Serious industry competition has driven all the juiciest plots on Younger this year; my favorites have been the battles between Kelsey and Quinn, whom Zicklin and co. installed to put yet another female shot-caller at the top of the show. Megan Angelo, Glamour, "Somehow Younger Has Become the Most Realistic Show About Careers on TV," 4 Sep. 2019 There’s no traditional plot here; there’s nothing the characters are working towards, per se, except the end of their lives, really. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, "Jennifer Weiner's 'Mrs. Everything' Is Untraditional in Every Sense," 2 Sep. 2019 Graveside services at the family plot will follow in Enterprise, Alabama at a date to be determined., "Deaths in Central Florida: 9/1," 1 Sep. 2019 Lionel isn’t too good at connecting with people and the initial plot thread is soon put to the side to allow other, bigger socio-political matters and relationships to move into the foreground. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Motherless Brooklyn': Film Review | Telluride 2019," 31 Aug. 2019 This shared world vaguely resembles London in the Victorian era, which makes sense, because there's a series of grisly Jack the Ripper-esque murders at the core of the convoluted plot. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'The Dark Crystal' and 'Carnival Row' fantasy series never take off," 29 Aug. 2019 Agents said the plot against the bar was halted after someone found Lecron’s diary and confronted her and Armstrong. Eric Heisig,, "Ohio woman pleads guilty in plots to attack Toledo bar with boyfriend, blow up pipeline," 29 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The Oscar winner returns to American TV for the first time in some 30 years playing Richard Matt, a man behind bars for life who teams up with a fellow inmate (Paul Dano) to plot their escape. Scott Feinberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "Emmys: Weighing the Odds in the Races for Lead Actor and Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie," 15 Aug. 2019 At this juncture, Cora came out to the mound — not to plot strategy or talk to Sale — but to complain to Estabrook. Dan Shaughnessy,, "Collapsing Red Sox more about MIA stars than missed calls," 3 Aug. 2019 The mom, played by Helen Mirren, takes the opportunity to plot her escape from confinement. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "What the Hobbs & Shaw Post-Credits Scenes Mean for the Fast & Furious Franchise," 2 Aug. 2019 Two Iranian suspected of surveilling the Mujahedin Khalq were arrested in Albania in 2018, and an Iranian diplomat in Vienna was arrested on suspicion of plotting to bomb a Mujahedin Khalq rally outside Paris. Los Angeles Times, "This Iranian opposition group was labeled a terrorist organization. Now it has supporters in the White House," 29 July 2019 The process begins by looking at naval charts to plot the best route. James Griffiths, CNN, "How vulnerable are the undersea cables that power the global internet?," 25 July 2019 Hundreds, if not thousands, died in the rioting, crippling Perez’s political capital and inspiring Chavez to plot an overthrow. Peter Millard,, "A Timeline of Venezuela’s Economic Rise and Fall," 16 Feb. 2019 Here Szabo-Haslam talks about the inspiration behind his art, and plotting out those massive drops. Katie Bain, Billboard, "With Waveform Prints, You Can Hang Your Favorite Song On the Wall," 30 July 2019 Much like assembling his coaching staff, preparing for the NFL draft and plotting out his course for offseason activities and min-camps, however, Kingsbury relied plenty on others for help. Bob Mcmanaman, azcentral, "Arizona Cardinals report to camp amid a growing sense of national intrigue and drama," 24 July 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plot

Dictionary Entries near plot





plot's elm



Statistics for plot

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plot

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plot



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.



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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on plot

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plot

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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).


recurring in steady succession

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!