noun, often attributive
\ˈpləm \

Definition of plum 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : any of various trees and shrubs (genus Prunus) of the rose family with globular to oval smooth-skinned edible fruits that are drupes with oblong seeds also : the fruit

2 : any of various trees with edible fruits resembling plums also : the fruit

3a : a raisin when used in desserts

b : sugarplum

4 : something superior or very desirable especially : something desirable given in return for a favor

5 : a dark reddish purple


geographical name
\ˈpləm \

Definition of Plum (Entry 2 of 2)

borough in southwestern Pennsylvania that is a suburb of Pittsburgh population 27,126

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from plum


plumlike \ ˈpləm-​ˌlīk \ adjective

Synonyms for plum

Synonyms: Noun

catch, gem, jewel, pearl, prize, treasure

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of plum in a Sentence


a bowl of peaches and plums Dried plums are also called “prunes.” That deal is a real plum for the contractor.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And yet, most people won’t take advantage of the plum opportunities at hand. Rachel King, Fortune, "This Is the Number One Reason Why People Don't Unplug From Work While on Vacation," 11 July 2018 The Front Street Lofts apartment building landed a plum tenant in Barnes & Noble with a Starbucks, leasing 11,150 square feet. Kenneth R. Gosselin,, "UConn Campus At Hartford's Front Street Gets First Retail Leases," 26 June 2018 On the other side, Spain – thanks to the late thrills - is now the beneficiary of a potentially plum draw. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Cristiano Ronaldo's missed penalty costs Portugal – and could haunt it forever," 25 June 2018 Fire Island is an altar to bread, with classics like Alaska whole wheat and Fire Island sourdough turned out daily and specials like challah, plum flax, and sprouted grain offered on specific weekdays. Genevieve Roth, Bon Appetit, "Fire Island Rustic Bakeshop Gets Me Through the Long Alaskan Winter," 6 June 2018 Prosecutors have alleged that Brazil’s government has effectively been run like a cartel for years, with politicians doling out favors, state contracts and plum positions in exchange for bribes and campaign contributions. Washington Post, "Brazil’s da Silva calls demonstrations the work of fascists," 29 Mar. 2018 Of the grouping, peaches, apples, plums and pears require the most pruning. Calvin Finch, San Antonio Express-News, "It’s been a good winter for fruit trees," 26 Jan. 2018 Chill hours, which can range from about 200 a year to 500 a year from Clear Lake to the northwest end of town, are also important for temperate fruit trees such as apples, peaches, plums and pears; their needs vary within species, by variety. Houston Chronicle, "Urban Havest's sale is the place gardeners find fruit trees for the Houston area," 5 Jan. 2018 In large bowl, toss red plums with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, Good Housekeeping, "Chicken and Red Plum Salad," 21 June 2018

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


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

History and Etymology for plum


Middle English, from Old English plūme, modification of Latin prunum plum, from Greek proumnon

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about plum

Dictionary Entries near plum


plug valve

plug weld





Statistics for plum

Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plum

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for plum



English Language Learners Definition of plum

: a round, juicy fruit that has red or purple skin, sweet yellow flesh, and a hard seed at the center

: something that many people want or think is very good

: a dark reddish-purple color


\ˈpləm \

Kids Definition of plum

1 : a fruit related to the peach and cherry that usually has smooth purple or reddish skin, sweet juicy flesh, and a stony pit

2 : a dark reddish purple

3 : a choice or desirable thing : prize

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on plum

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


full of whispering sounds

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
True or False

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


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!