Synonyms of plot

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a secret plan for accomplishing evil or unlawful ends
  • the Secret Service uncovered just in time a plot to assassinate the President

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2 a small area of usually open land
  • grew vegetables in a little plot

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3 a small piece of land that is developed or available for development
  • subdivided the old farm into plots for tract houses

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4 the unfolding of events in a dramatic or literary work
  • wrote novels in which the plot was always subordinate to the characterizations

Synonyms for plot

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Synonyms of plot (Entry 2 of 2)

to engage in a secret plan to accomplish evil or unlawful ends
  • mobsters were caught plotting to take over the company

Synonyms for plot

Words Related to plot

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Frequently Asked Questions About plot

How does the noun plot differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of plot are cabal, conspiracy, intrigue, and machination. While all these words mean "a plan secretly devised to accomplish an evil or treacherous end," plot implies careful foresight in planning a complex scheme.

an assassination plot

When might cabal be a better fit than plot?

The synonyms cabal and plot are sometimes interchangeable, but cabal typically applies to political intrigue involving persons of some eminence.

a cabal among powerful senators

In what contexts can conspiracy take the place of plot?

While in some cases nearly identical to plot, conspiracy implies a secret agreement among several people usually involving treason or great treachery.

a conspiracy to fix prices

When is intrigue a more appropriate choice than plot?

The words intrigue and plot are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, intrigue suggests secret underhanded maneuvering in an atmosphere of duplicity.

backstairs intrigue

When could machination be used to replace plot?

Although the words machination and plot have much in common, machination implies a contriving of annoyances, injuries, or evils by indirect means.

the machinations of a party boss

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Time Traveler for plot

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

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Cite this Entry

“Plot.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Aug. 2022.

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


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