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.
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.