views updated May 11 2018

plot / plät/ • n. 1. a plan made in secret by a group of people to do something illegal or harmful: there's a plot to overthrow the government. 2. the main events of a play, novel, movie, or similar work, devised and presented by the writer as an interrelated sequence.3. a small piece of ground marked out for a purpose such as building or gardening: a vegetable plot.4. a graph showing the relation between two variables. ∎  a diagram, chart, or map.• v. (plot·ted, plot·ting) [tr.] 1. secretly make plans to carry out (an illegal or harmful action): the two men are serving sentences for plotting a bomb campaign | [intr.] Erica has been plotting against me all along. 2. devise the sequence of events in (a play, novel, movie, or similar work).3. mark (a route or position) on a chart: he started to plot lines of ancient sites. ∎  mark out or allocate (points) on a graph. ∎  make (a curve) by marking out a number of such points. ∎  illustrate by use of a graph: it is possible to plot fairly closely the rate at which recruitment of girls increased.PHRASES: lose the plot inf. lose one's ability to understand or cope with what is happening: many people believe that he is feeling the strain or has lost the plot.the plot thickenssee thicken.DERIVATIVES: plot·less adj.plot·ter / ˈplätər/ n.


views updated May 17 2018

A. small piece of ground XI;

B. †groundplan, scheme, outline XVI; plan of a literary work XVII;

C. secret plan, conspiracy XVI. Properly three words; in A late OE. plot, of unkn. orig.; in B alt. of plat (early XVI, now U.S.), which was orig. a var. of plot in sense A, or (as in grass plat, etc.), partly assoc. with late ME. plat flat place or space (— (O)F. plat PLATE); in C superseding earlier complot XVI (— (O)F. complot †dense crowd, secret project, of unkn. orig.) by assoc. with sense B.
Hence plot vb. to make a plan of, contrive. XVI.


views updated May 21 2018

plot lose the plot lose one's ability to understand or cope with what is happening, lose touch with reality.
the plot thickens the situation becomes more difficult and complex; from George Villiers The Rehearsal (1671).