a. A small piece of ground, generally used for a specific purpose: a garden plot.
b. A measured area of land; a lot.
2. A ground plan, as for a building; a diagram.
3. See graph1.
4. The pattern or sequence of interrelated events in a work of fiction, as a novel or film.
5. A secret plan to accomplish a hostile or illegal purpose; a scheme.
v. plot·ted, plot·ting, plots
1. To represent graphically, as on a chart: plot a ship's course.
a. To locate (points or other figures) on a graph by means of coordinates.
b. To draw (a curve) connecting points on a graph.
3. To write or develop the plot of: "I began plotting novels at about the time I learned to read" (James Baldwin).
4. To form a plot for; prearrange secretly or deviously: plot an assassination.
1. To form or take part in a plot; scheme: were plotting for months before the attack.
2. To write or develop the plot for a work of fiction: A good mystery writer must plot well.
[Middle English, from Old English.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.