1 of 4


plen·​ty ˈplen-tē How to pronounce plenty (audio)
singular or plural in construction
: an adequate or more than adequate number or amount of something : a number or amount of something that is enough for a particular purpose
had plenty of time to finish the job
plenty of room
I don't need more. I have plenty.
There's plenty to do/see here.


2 of 4


: an abundance especially of material things that permit a satisfactory life : a condition or time of abundance
a feeling of plenty
a land of plenty
a season of plenty


3 of 4


: plentiful in amount, number, or supply
if reasons were as plenty as blackberriesWilliam Shakespeare
: ample
plenty work to be doneTime
Using Plenty as an Adjective: Usage Guide

Many commentators object to use of sense 2 in writing; it appears to be limited chiefly to spoken English. Sense 1 is literary but is no longer in common use.


4 of 4


: more than sufficiently : to a considerable degree
the nights were plenty coldF. B. Gipson
Using Plenty as an Adverb: Usage Guide

Many handbooks advise avoiding the adverb plenty in writing; "use very, quite, or a more precise word," they advise. Actually plenty is often a more precise word than its recommended replacements; very, fully, or quite will not work as well in these typical quotations.

it's already plenty hot for us in the kitchen without some dolt opening the oven C. H. Bridges
may not be rising quite as rapidly as other health costs, but it is going up plenty fast Changing Times

It is not used in more formal writing.

in plenty
: present or existing in large amounts : in abundance
There were eggs in plenty not far off, in the hen house.Robert C. O'Brien
… academics can cite evidence in plenty … to justify their skepticism.Peter Green

Examples of plenty in a Sentence

Noun They thought of America as the land of plenty. you'll have plenty of time to make your connecting flight Adjective we've picked plenty blueberries, so there'll be some left over after we make the pie Adverb There's plenty more where that came from. The car is plenty large enough to fit six people.
Recent Examples on the Web
The Incredible Hulk, was still plenty profitable, making $265 million on a $150 million budget. Bypaolo Confino, Fortune, 13 Nov. 2023 The dining room, accented by a huge wooden table and plenty more art work, also holds a $20 dollar bill with Harriet Tubman’s face honoring past efforts by the Obama administration to get the legendary abolitionist on the note. Victoria Uwumarogie, Essence, 13 Nov. 2023 Your tree will be plenty happy with a refreshing refill of fresh clean water. Katherine Owen, Southern Living, 12 Nov. 2023 Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Al Franken and Donald Trump successfully made the leap into lawmaking, and plenty more have tried (see: Dr. Oz, Cynthia Nixon, Herschel Walker, Caitlyn Jenner, Clay Aiken, Ben Savage, even Shirley Temple). Kyler Alvord, Peoplemag, 10 Nov. 2023 But there’s plenty more spiritual sound to go around. Tom Roland, Billboard, 8 Nov. 2023 While the contents of the Salvador Dalí Museum are plenty interesting, the exterior architecture — a free-form geodesic glass bubble erupting from 18-inch-thick walls — is worth a visit in its own right. Skye Sherman, Travel + Leisure, 4 Nov. 2023 What then is too much, when a sleight of the rational names plenty as recursion in thickets, absent blaring data and the insects vanish. Alice Gribbin, The New York Review of Books, 2 Nov. 2023 But plenty more needs to be done, including a mass hiring spree. Anna Giaritelli, Washington Examiner, 18 Oct. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'plenty.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History



Middle English plente, borrowed from Anglo-French plenté, adaptation as quantifier of plenté "abundance, plenty entry 2"


Middle English plente "abundance, fullness," borrowed from Anglo-French plenté, pleinté "abundance, bounty" (also continental Old & Middle French), going back to Latin plēnitāt-, plēnitās "fullness to saturation," from plēnus "full" + -itāt-, -itās -ity — more at full entry 1


Middle English plente, adaptation as quantifier of plenté "abundance, plenty entry 2"


derivative of plenty entry 1

First Known Use


13th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined above


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1775, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of plenty was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near plenty

Cite this Entry

“Plenty.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


1 of 2 noun
plen·​ty ˈplent-ē How to pronounce plenty (audio)
: a full supply
had plenty of time to finish
: a large number or amount
is in plenty of trouble
: the state of being plentiful
times of plenty


2 of 2 adverb
: quite sense 2
the game was plenty exciting

More from Merriam-Webster on plenty

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