\ 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 Cookbooks are central to the plot — artifacts of Wiggins’ childhood among a family of grocers. Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 The fake dating isn’t as important to the plot as the work Kiki and Malakai do while pretending to be in a relationship. Serena Puang,, 21 July 2022 This summer was the second time in less than a year that an approaching wildfire inched dangerously close to the iconic plot of trees, some of which have been there for thousands of years. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 21 July 2022 If you've been caught by the gardening bug but struggle to work around having available yard space — or access to a community garden plot — you aren't cut completely out of the game yet! Christopher Michel, Country Living, 18 July 2022 The Stokes West development would bring about 250 apartments with rents starting at $1,395 and six new townhomes to a plot of land bordered by Stokes Boulevard, Cedar Avenue and East 107th Street. Sean Mcdonnell, cleveland, 1 July 2022 On Tuesday, the congressional panel tied former President Trump to a plot to have states create fake elector slates. NBC News, 26 June 2022 The soloists themselves seemed split on Thursday: Even in a non-staged setting, Salsi and Mizzi acted compellingly, subtly but effectively aligning their onstage delivery to the plot, while Meli and El-Khoury sang essentially sans gesture. Hannah Edgar, Chicago Tribune, 24 June 2022 McDaniel’s testimony offered the first evidence of Trump’s direct ties to the fake electors plot. Rosalind S. Helderman And Jacqueline Alemany, Anchorage Daily News, 22 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb In June 2014, as Grenada again approached insolvency, Antoine gathered civic and religious leaders in the second-story meeting room of a Catholic church overlooking Grand Anse Beach to plot a different approach. Abrahm Lustgarten, ProPublica, 27 July 2022 In June 2014, as Grenada again approached insolvency, Antoine gathered civic and religious leaders in the second-story meeting room of a Catholic church overlooking Grand Anse Beach to plot a different approach. New York Times, 27 July 2022 One way to illustrate these results is to plot something called the z-value, which is a statistical measure of the strength of an effect. Alex Hutchinson, Outside Online, 22 July 2022 The company teamed up with AI firm Faculty to plot routes around the Atlantic with the best winds. Rachel Cormack, Robb Report, 13 July 2022 Bill began to plot a means of death that would pay out his policy to his impoverished mother. Jonathan Rowe, SPIN, 28 June 2022 Some were still in shock, unable to plot their next move. John Keilman,, 13 Apr. 2022 O’Toole uses his birth date to plot the country’s tensions and contradictions, drawing the reader’s attention to three symptomatic events that occurred in the week of his birth. James Wood, The New Yorker, 4 Apr. 2022 Evidently the call was to plot their getaway as they were spotted getting into a car, never to be heard from again. David Morel, Forbes, 15 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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near plot



plot's elm

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Statistics for plot

Last Updated

10 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Plot.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 12 Aug. 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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