[ plee-nuh-ree, plen-uh- ]
/ ˈpli nə ri, ˈplɛn ə- /


full; complete; entire; absolute; unqualified: plenary powers.
attended by all qualified members; fully constituted: a plenary session of Congress.

noun, plural ple·na·ries.

a plenary session, meeting, or the like.

Nearby words

  1. pleiotropy,
  2. pleistocene,
  3. plekhanov,
  4. plekhanov, georgi valentinovich,
  5. plena,
  6. plenary indulgence,
  7. plench,
  8. plenipotent,
  9. plenipotentiary,
  10. plenish

Origin of plenary

1375–1425; < Late Latin plēnārius (see plenum, -ary); replacing late Middle English plener < Anglo-French < Late Latin plēnāris (see -ar1)

Related formsple·na·ri·ly, adverb

Can be confusedplanetary plenary plentiful plenitude Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for plenary

British Dictionary definitions for plenary


/ (ˈpliːnərɪ, ˈplɛn-) /


full, unqualified, or completeplenary powers; plenary indulgence
(of assemblies, councils, etc) attended by all the members

noun plural -ries

a book of the gospels or epistles and homilies read at the Eucharist
Derived Formsplenarily, adverb

Word Origin for plenary

C15: from Late Latin plēnārius, from Latin plēnus full; related to Middle English plener; see plenum

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for plenary



1510s, earlier plenar (mid-13c.), from Old French plenier, from Medieval Latin plenarius "entire, complete," from Latin plenus "full, filled, greatly crowded; stout, pregnant; abundant, abounding; complete," from PIE *pele- (1) "to fill" (see poly-). Related: Plenarily.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper