noun, often attributive
\ ˈpləm How to pronounce plum (audio) \

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 How to pronounce Plum (audio) \

Definition of Plum (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Other Words from plum


plumlike \ ˈpləm-​ˌlīk How to pronounce plumlike (audio) \ adjective

Synonyms for plum

Synonyms: Noun

catch, gem, jewel, pearl, prize, treasure

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Part of the solution, as Williams and Multhaup argue, involves managers taking care to distribute plum assignments and unglamorous assignments equitably among employees. Sarah Todd, Quartz at Work, "Finally, a performance review designed to weed out “brilliant jerks”," 22 July 2019 For example, Justice Ginsburg assigned the majority opinion in a giant antitrust case against Apple to Justice Kavanaugh, a plum assignment for a new member of the court. New York Times, "A Supreme Court Term Marked by Shifting Alliances and Surprise Votes," 29 June 2019 Ultimately, he was given a plum assignment as recovery engineer inside the Mobile Quarantine Facility, a converted Airstream trailer, with the flight crew and surgeon aboard the USS Hornet, 900 miles southwest of Hawaii in the North Pacific Ocean., "The hard-charging space program: Breakthroughs, breakdowns and breakneck," 27 June 2019 Male lawyers accused of failing to cover the basics won awards and got plum assignments, like the Boston Marathon bombing case, while female prosecutors got short shrift, the women said. Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle, "Houston judge questions capability of federal prosecutor in San Jacinto County death penalty case," 19 June 2019 Ultimately, he was given a plum assignment as recovery engineer inside the Mobile Quarantine Facility, a converted Airstream trailer, with the flight crew and surgeon aboard the USS Hornet, 900 miles southwest of Hawaii in the North Pacific Ocean. Karen Heller, Washington Post, "The hard-charging space program: Breakthroughs, breakdowns and breakneck," 18 June 2019 With Fresh Basil and Amaretti Crisp Serves 6 Prep time: 7 minutes Cooking time: 20 minutes Ingredients 12 ripe plums (approx. Marc Myers, WSJ, "Mary McCartney Became an Artist With a Little Help from Linda and Paul," 28 Aug. 2018 Think compotes of summer stone fruits like peaches, cherries and plums, sometimes apples or pears, sweetened with just enough sugar to enhance the fruit. Susan Barocas,, "Why cold soups are really Jewish," 17 July 2019 Mobutu Sese Seko, Congo’s post-independence dictator, gave plum posts to the Hema, who acquired much of Ituri’s finest land. The Economist, "Killings in Congo’s north-east spark fears of a return to war," 13 July 2019

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.

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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

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Dictionary Entries near plum


plug valve

plug weld





Statistics for plum

Last Updated

13 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for plum

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

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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
somewhat informal : something that many people want or think is very good
: a dark reddish-purple color


\ ˈpləm How to pronounce plum (audio) \

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

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More from Merriam-Webster on plum

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with plum

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for plum

Spanish Central: Translation of plum

Nglish: Translation of plum for Spanish Speakers

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

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).


not constant or steady

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