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1. Botany
a. Any of various photosynthetic, eukaryotic, multicellular organisms of the kingdom Plantae characteristically containing chloroplasts, having cell walls made of cellulose, producing embryos, and lacking the power of locomotion. Plants include trees, bushes, herbs, ferns, mosses, and certain green algae.
b. A plant having no permanent woody stem; an herb.
c. Any of various fungi, algae, or protists that resemble plants and were formerly classified in the plant kingdom. Not in scientific use.
a. A building or group of buildings for the manufacture of a product; a factory: works in an auto plant.
b. The buildings, fixtures, and equipment, including machinery, tools, and instruments, necessary for an industrial operation or an institution: the university's mechanical plant.
3. A person or thing put into place in order to mislead or function secretly, especially:
a. A person placed in a group of spectators to influence behavior.
b. A person stationed in a given location as a spy or observer.
c. A misleading piece of evidence placed so as to be discovered.
d. A remark or action in a play or narrative that becomes important later.
4. Slang A scheming trick; a swindle.
tr.v. plant·ed, plant·ing, plants
a. To place or set (seeds, for example) in the ground to grow.
b. To place seeds or young plants in (land); sow: plant a field in corn.
a. To place (spawn or young fish) in water or an underwater bed for cultivation: plant oysters.
b. To stock with spawn or fish.
3. To introduce (an animal) into an area.
a. To place or fix in a certain position: planted both feet on the ground; planted a kiss on my cheek.
b. To deliver (a punch or blow).
c. To fix firmly in the mind; implant: "The right of revolution is planted in the heart of man" (Clarence Darrow).
5. To establish; found: plant a colony.
a. To station (a person) for the purpose of functioning in secret, as by observing, spying, or influencing behavior: Detectives were planted all over the store.
b. To place secretly or deceptively so as to be discovered or made public: planted a gun on the corpse to make the death look like suicide.
7. To conceal; hide: planted the stolen goods in the warehouse.

[Middle English plante, from Old English and Old French, both from Latin planta, sprout, seedling; see plat- in Indo-European roots.]

plant′a·ble adj.


an inability to accommodate to acid soils. Cf. basophobia.acidophobic, adj.
a parasitic relationship between plants that has a destructive effect on one and no effect on the other.
the tendency of some plants to grow in a direction away from the sun.
the tendency of some plants to grow away from the earth and the pull of gravity. — apogeotropic, adj.
the cultivation of plants in nutrient solutions, usually for commercial purposes. Cf. hydroponics.aquapontic, adj.
hydroponics. — aquicultural, adj.
the measurement of the swelling and shrinking of parts of plants. — auxographic, adj.
an inability to accommodate to alkaline soils. Cf. acidophobia.basophobic, basiphobic, adj.
the study of the physiological processes of plants and animals. — biodynamic, biodynamical, adj.
the study of the relation between structure and function in plants and animals. — biostatical, adj.
the animal or plant life of a particular region.
a form of divination involving the examination of plants.
the description of plants belonging to the genus Carex.
the study of sedges. — caricologist, n.
Biology. the study of galls produced on trees and plants by fungi, insects, or mites. — cecidiologist, cecidologist, n.
1. a diseased condition of plants in which green parts lose their color or turn yellowish.
2. the process by which floral parts of a plant turn into leaves. Also chloranthy. See also disease and illness.
the cultivation of citrus fruits, as lemons, oranges, etc. — citriculturist, n.
a technique for making apparent to the eye the successive stages of plant growth. — crescographic, adj.
the procedures involved in adapting plants for growth under surf conditions. — cumaphytic, adj.
the apparent preference of some plants, as orchids, to grow in or near trees. — dendrophilous, adj.
the study of microscopic single-celled algae. — desmidiologist, n.
the capacity or tendency of some plants to adopt a position transverse to the line of force of an external stimulus. — diatropic, adj.
the condition, in some flowering plants, in which the pistils and stamens mature at different times, thus preventing self-pollination. — dichogamous, adj.
the transplanting of a plant to a new environment.
a form of mutualism in which one plant lives on the surface of another, as moss on a tree. — epiphyte, n.
1. the process of growing plants away from the light to make them white and crisp, especially in vegetable gardening.
2. the condition of the plants grown in this manner. See also disease and illness.
a knot growing on the stem or root of a plant. See also bones.
a mania for plants and flowers.
a substance that kills fungi or retards the growth of spores.
the ability of certain plants to grow normally in solis having a high mineral salt content. — halophyte, n.halophytic, adj.
an attraction or adaptation to sunlight, as the sunflower. — heliophile, n.heliophilic, heliophilous, adj.
a tendency of certain plants to move in response to sunlight.
the tendency in some plant species to turn or grow toward sunlight. — heliotrope, n.heliotropic, adj.
a person who collects or deals in herbs, especially for medicinal purposes. See also botany.
Obsolete, a herbalist.
a substance for destroying plants, especially weeds or other unwanted species; a weed-killer. — herbicidal, adj.
abnormal development, especially increased size, in plants or animals, usually as a result of cross-breeding.
the ability of certain plants to grow naturally in water or in highly moist soils. — hydrophyte, n.hydrophytic, adj.
the science of growing plants in specially prepared solutions instead of in soil. Cf. aquapontics.hydroponic, adj.
excessive growth of one part of a plant to the disadvantage or detriment of the plant as a whole. See also body, human; size. — hypertrophic, hypertrophical, hypertrophous, adj.
an increase in growth in a lower part of a plant causing it to bend upward. — hyponastic, adj.
Obsolete, any procedure for raising plants under other than natural conditions of growth.
the ability of certain plants to grow naturally in moderate but constant moisture. — mesophyte, n.mesophytic, adj.
the worship of fungi, especially mushrooms.
the branch of horticulture that specializes in the cultivation of edible plants. — olericultural, adj.
the capacity of some plants to thrive in the midst of copious rain. Also called hydrophily. — ombrophilic, ombrophilous, adj.
a relationship between plants in which one gains sustenance from the other. See also animals; biology.
the state of having the pistils, stamens, petals, etc., arranged around a cuplike receptacle. — perigynous, adj.
any chemical substance used for killing pests, as insects, weeds, etc.
Rare. a lover of plants.
the science or study of light in relation to the movement of plants. — photodynamic, photodynamical, adj.
the tendency in certain plant species to respond to light by developing sufficient cellular force or growth on one side of an axis to change the form or position of the axis, as in the opening and closing of the flowers of four-o’clocks. Cf. thermonasty.photonastic. adj.
the study of the relative amounts of light and darkness in a 24-hour period required to best effect the growth, reproduction, and flowering of plant species or the growth and reproduction of animals. Also photoperiodicity. Cf. thermoperiodism. — photoperiodic, photoperiodical, adj.
the necessity, in some plant species, for exposure to strong light. — photophile, photophilic, photophilous, adj.
the synthesis of complex organic substances from carbon dioxide, water, and inorganic salts, with sunlight as the energy source and a catalyst such as chlorophyll. — photosynthetic, adj.
motion in response to light, either toward it or away from it, as manifested by certain plants. — phototropic, adj.
the origin and evolution of plants. — phytogenetic, phytogenetical, phytogenic, adj.
the identification, classification, and study of plant viruses. — phytoserologist, n.phytoserologic, phytoserological, adj.
the tendency of some plants to diverge from the vertical in their growth. — plagiotropic, adj.
the tendency of some plants to respond to a current of water by growing with it (positive rheotaxis) or against it (negative rheotaxis).
the ability of certain plants to live in dead or decaying organic matter. — saprophyte, n.saprophytic, n., adj.
the hardening of the cell wall of a plant, as by the formation of wood. See also body, human. — sclerotic, adj.
selective breeding to develop strains with particular characteristics. — stirpicultural, adj.
the art of divination by inspection of figs or flg leaves.
the tendency in certain plant species to respond to temperature changes by developing a sufficient cellular force or growth on one side of an axis to change the form or position of the axis, as in the closing or folding of rhododendron leaves in cold air. Cf. photonasty.thermonastic, adj.
the study of the relative day and night temperatures required, in a 24-hour period, to achieve the best growth, reproduction, or flowering of plant species or the growth and reproduction of animals. Also thermoperiodicity. Cf. photoperiodism. — thermoperiodic, thermoperiodical, adj.
the tendency in some plant species to turn toward or away from a source of heat. — thermotropic, thermotropical, adj.
cross-fertilization in plants or flowers.
the ability of some plants to survive in dosert or salt marsh areas by storing fresh water internally. — xerophilic, xerophilous, adj.
the natural adaptation of plants living under desert or marsh conditions to store water internally. — xerophyte, n.xerophytic, adj.
References in classic literature ?
Amy had a bower in hers, rather small and earwiggy, but very pretty to look at, with honeysuckle and morning-glories hanging their colored horns and bells in graceful wreaths all over it, tall white lilies, delicate ferns, and as many brilliant, picturesque plants as would consent to blossom there.
I bought the flowers from an old German woman who always had more window plants than anyone else, and spent an afternoon trimming a little workbasket.
In the yard, which was kept scrupulously neat, were flowers and plants of every description which flourishes in South Louisiana.
Six Delaware girls, with their long, dark, flowing tresses falling loosely across their bosoms, stood apart, and only gave proof of their existence as they occasionally strewed sweet-scented herbs and forest flowers on a litter of fragrant plants that, under a pall of Indian robes, supported all that now remained of the ardent, high-souled, and generous Cora.
Thoughtful hands had taken care of the vines and rose-bushes on the trellises; water--that precious element in Devil's Ford--had not been spared in keeping green through the long drought the plants which the girls had so tenderly nurtured.
Summer squashes almost in their golden blossom; cucumbers, now evincing a tendency to spread away from the main stock, and ramble far and wide; two or three rows of string-beans and as many more that were about to festoon themselves on poles; tomatoes, occupying a site so sheltered and sunny that the plants were already gigantic, and promised an early and abundant harvest.
For the sake of the minister's health, and to enable the leech to gather plants with healing balm in them, they took long walks on the sea-shore, or in the forest; mingling various walks with the splash and murmur of the waves, and the solemn wind-anthem among the tree-tops.
You were a good deal cut up yourself, Tom, two weeks ago, when those young ladies left your hothouse door open, with a frosty east wind blowing right in; you said it killed a good many of your plants.
They make a great feature of showing strangers through the packing plants, for it is a good advertisement.
Two large orange-trees, now fragrant with blossoms, threw a delicious shade; and, ranged in a circle round upon the turf, were marble vases of arabesque sculpture, containing the choicest flowering plants of the tropics.
Now a troop of servants brought pots and tubs of blooming plants and formed them into a beautiful jungle about the door and the base of the staircase.
Each of these pretty homes had a garden in front fenced with white palings and opulently stocked with hollyhocks, marigolds, touch-me-nots, prince's-feathers, and other old-fashioned flowers; while on the windowsills of the houses stood wooden boxes containing moss rose plants and terra-cotta pots in which grew a breed of geranium whose spread of intensely red blossoms accented the prevailing pink tint of the rose-clad house-front like an explosion of flame.