Definition of harvest in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhärvəst/


1The process or period of gathering in crops: helping with the harvest
More example sentences
  • The olive harvest falls after grape harvest, during a period of time when he'd otherwise have nothing for his workers to do.
  • For most farmers, drying the crop is the major bottleneck in the harvest process.
  • Gulfprince ripens from early to mid-May, extending the harvest period.
harvesting, reaping, picking, collecting
1.1The season’s yield or crop: a poor harvest
More example sentences
  • The government estimates the new harvest will yield about 600000 tons of staple grains this year.
  • If those working on it can work together, the seeds sown to date can yield a bountiful harvest.
  • This followed a shortage caused by a poor winter harvest and alleged wheat market manipulation resulted in excessive exports of grain.
yield, crop, vintage;
fruits, produce
1.2A quantity of animals caught or killed for human use: a limited harvest of wild mink
More example sentences
  • The annual throng of whitebaiters converging on Lake Ferry has been subject to an unseasonal interruption to the harvest just as catches were beginning to grow.
  • The biologist believed that the herd would soon be in trouble and that the animal harvest would have to be reduced.
  • In the olden days on St Kilda and at several bleak rocky points east, tenacious hunters would dangle off perilous cliffs to catch their harvest.
1.3The product or result of an action: in terms of science, Apollo yielded a meager harvest
More example sentences
  • Indian theatre has produced harvests in many languages.
  • The paradox is that a search for a unifying center fails, but it has produced a harvest of insights into the riches of the Bible.
  • Inflation, shortages, and declining production were the harvest of five years of perestroika and glasnost.
return, result, fruits;
product, output, effect;


[with object]
1Gather (a crop) as a harvest: (as noun harvesting) after harvesting, most of the crop is stored in large buildings
More example sentences
  • The gardens are starting to look bare as the last of the root crops are harvested, and the still green cover crops are filling in the beds.
  • Each year woman, children and even competing small farmers are forced to harvest the crop on big collective farms.
  • Centuries ago when farmers planted and harvested their crops, they knew little about the science involved.
gather (in), bring in, reap, pick, collect
1.1Catch or kill (animals) for human consumption or use.
Example sentences
  • If you keep harvesting the wildlife turtles, you'll have not enough numbers.
  • My unprofessional opinion of these techniques of harvesting the eels is that it has made a dent in the eel population.
  • Wormers must now record their daily haul, and they are required to harvest the worms on a rotational basis, leaving some beaches to lie fallow for a season.
1.2Remove (cells, tissue, or an organ) from a person or animal for transplantation or experimental purposes.
Example sentences
  • New alternatives, which are currently experimental, include harvesting stem cells from umbilical cord blood or placentas of new born babies.
  • For some experiments, tissue was harvested from tissue-culture plants.
  • What's much safer is an autologous transplant where a person's own stem cells are harvested either from their blood or bone marrow.
1.3Collect or obtain (a resource) for future use: the research teams are leading the way in identifying new ways of harvesting the sun’s energy
More example sentences
  • The power supply would be harvested by solar panels, housed on a lunar orbiting power station.
  • The capsule held billions of charged atoms - a total haul no bigger than a few grains of salt - that were harvested from solar wind on five collecting disks during the 884-day, $260-million mission.
  • Its soil contains raw materials that might be harvested and processed into rocket fuel or breathable air.



Example sentences
  • Yet despite variable environments, new commercially available maize hybrids continue to be produced each year with ever-increasing harvestable yield.
  • New branches will form where the nodes remain, producing a multi-stemmed plant that becomes very bushy and full of harvestable leaves.
  • Many fields that are fully mature and nearly harvestable have a high percentage of green-stemmed plants remaining in the field.


Old English hærfest 'autumn', of Germanic origin; related to Dutch herfst and German Herbst, from an Indo-European root shared by Latin carpere 'pluck' and Greek karpos 'fruit'.

  • The meaning of harvest in Old English was ‘autumn’. Since early autumn was the season for the cutting and gathering in of ripened crops, this passed during the Middle Ages into ‘the process of gathering in crops’ and ‘the season's yield or crop’. The word harvest itself has ancient roots: it is related to Latin carpere ‘to pluck’ ( see carpet) and Greek karpos ‘fruit’. See also autumn

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: har·vest

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