a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, especially a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose: a plot to overthrow the government.
Also called storyline. the plan, scheme, or main story of a literary or dramatic work, as a play, novel, or short story.
a small piece or area of ground: a garden plot; burial plot.
a measured piece or parcel of land: a house on a two-acre plot.
a plan, map, diagram, or other graphic representation, as of land, a building, etc.
a list, timetable, or scheme dealing with any of the various arrangements for the production of a play, motion picture, etc.: According to the property plot, there should be a lamp stage left.
a chart showing the course of a craft, as a ship or airplane.
Artillery. a point or points located on a map or chart: target plot.
to plan secretly, especially something hostile or evil: to plot mutiny.
to mark on a plan, map, or chart, as the course of a ship or aircraft.
to draw a plan or map of, as a tract of land or a building.
to divide (land) into plots.
to determine and mark (points), as on plotting paper, by means of measurements or coordinates.
to draw (a curve) by means of points so marked.
to represent by means of such a curve.
to devise or construct the plot of (a play, novel, etc.).
to prepare a list, timetable, or scheme of (production arrangements), as for a play or motion picture: The stage manager hadn't plotted the set changes until one day before the dress rehearsal.
to make (a calculation) by graph.
to plan or scheme secretly; form a plot; conspire.
to devise or develop a literary or dramatic plot.
to be marked or located by means of measurements or coordinates, as on plotting paper.
In the mid-16th century, plot was used to refer to a map, ground plan, sketch, or written outline. At about the same time, it also came to mean “a secret, usually evil plan”; the verb meaning “to plan secretly, devise” comes from that sense of the noun. Plot in the sense “a storyline or main story of a play or novel” dates from the early 17th century.
- plotful, adjective
- plotless, adjective
- plot·less·ness, noun
- outplot, verb (used with object), out·plot·ted, out·plot·ting.
- o·ver·plot, verb, o·ver·plot·ted, o·ver·plot·ting.
- pre·plot, verb (used with object), pre·plot·ted, pre·plot·ting.
- re·plot, verb (used with object), re·plot·ted, re·plot·ting.
- un·plot·ted, adjective
- un·plot·ting, adjective
- well-plotted, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use plot in a sentence
Many of the plots are fresh, dedicated to locals who died fighting their holy war against U.S. and Afghan troops.Heart of Darkness: Into Afghanistan’s Taliban Valley | Matt Trevithick, Daniel Seckman | November 15, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Al Qaeda plots against “the far enemy” (meaning you and me).Lone Wolves, Terrorist Runts, and the Stray Dogs of ISIS | Jacob Siegel | October 24, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
India really does intrigue against Pakistan in the same way Pakistan plots against India.Why So Many Pakistanis Hate Their Nobel Peace Prize Winner | Chris Allbritton | October 10, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It must be the compelling characters, the memorable lines, the intricate plots.
And even as he plots defenses against American and allied air raids, he is taunting Vladimir Putin and his allies in Grozny.ISIS Is Putin’s Problem, Too, and This Chechen Is One Reason Why. | Anna Nemtsova | September 29, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
It is from the plots and counter-plots, the machinations and subterfuges that follow that Miss Bowen justifies her title.
These gardens are rather like oriental flower-plots, but they assimilate well with the climate.Journal of a Voyage to Brazil | Maria Graham
Three square little garden plots with nice brown earth were waiting for seeds.Seven O'Clock Stories | Robert Gordon Anderson
It is like a sudden resurrection of all the loved, long-mourned dead that sleep so serenely in their tended plots.Cabin Fever | B. M. Bower
The scene is next filled by the conspirators, La Catanaise directing the details of the plots.Frdric Mistral | Charles Alfred Downer
British Dictionary definitions for plot (1 of 2)
a secret plan to achieve some purpose, esp one that is illegal or underhand: a plot to overthrow the government
the story or plan of a play, novel, etc
military a graphic representation of an individual or tactical setting that pinpoints an artillery target
mainly US a diagram or plan, esp a surveyor's map
lose the plot informal to lose one's ability or judgment in a given situation
to plan secretly (something illegal, revolutionary, etc); conspire
(tr) to mark (a course, as of a ship or aircraft) on a map
(tr) to make a plan or map of
to locate and mark (one or more points) on a graph by means of coordinates
to draw (a curve) through these points
(tr) to construct the plot of (a literary work)
British Dictionary definitions for plot (2 of 2)
a small piece of land: a vegetable plot
(tr) to arrange or divide (land) into plots
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
Cultural definitions for plot
The organization of events in a work of fiction.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.