Definition of plot noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary

  1. 1  [countable, uncountable] the series of events that form the story of a novel, play, film/movie, etc. a conventional plot about love and marriage The book is well organized in terms of plot. Wordfinderbiography, blockbuster, book, character, editor, narrator, novel, plot, publish, title CollocationsLiteratureBeing a writer write/​publish literature/​poetry/​fiction/​a book/​a story/​a poem/​a novel/​a review/​an autobiography become a writer/​novelist/​playwright find/​have a publisher/​an agent have a new book out edit/​revise/​proofread a book/​text/​manuscript dedicate a book/​poem to…Plot, character and atmosphere construct/​create/​weave/​weave something into a complex narrative advance/​drive the plot introduce/​present the protagonist/​a character describe/​depict/​portray a character (as…)/(somebody as) a hero/​villain create an exciting/​a tense atmosphere build/​heighten the suspense/​tension evoke/​capture the pathos of the situation convey emotion/​an idea/​an impression/​a sense of… engage the reader seize/​capture/​grip the (reader’s) imagination arouse/​elicit emotion/​sympathy (in the reader) lack imagination/​emotion/​structure/​rhythmLanguage, style and imagery use/​employ language/​imagery/​humour/(especially US English) humor/​an image/​a symbol/​a metaphor/​a device use/​adopt/​develop a style/​technique be rich in/​be full of symbolism evoke images of…/a sense of…/a feeling of… create/​achieve an effect maintain/​lighten the tone introduce/​develop an idea/​a theme inspire a novel/​a poet/​somebody’s work/​somebody’s imaginationReading and criticism read an author/​somebody’s work/​fiction/​poetry/​a text/​a poem/​a novel/​a chapter/​a passage review a book/​a novel/​somebody’s work give something/​get/​have/​receive a good/​bad review be hailed (as)/be recognized as a masterpiece quote a(n) phrase/​line/​stanza/​passage/​author provoke/​spark discussion/​criticism study/​interpret/​understand a text/​passage translate somebody’s work/​a text/​a passage/​a novel/​a poem Wordfinderdialogue, ending, flashback, plot, narrate, scenario, scene, storyline, tension, twist See related entries: Elements of a play, Film reviews and promotion, Elements of a story
  2. 2  [countable] plot (to do something) a secret plan made by a group of people to do something wrong or illegal synonym conspiracy a murder plot The rebels hatched a plot to overthrow the government. Police uncovered a plot against the president.
  3. 3  [countable] a small piece of land that is used or intended for a special purpose She bought a small plot of land to build a house on. a vegetable plot Synonymslandlot ground space plotThese words all mean an area of land that is used for a particular purpose.land an area of ground, especially one that is used for a particular purpose:agricultural landlot (North American English) a piece of land that is used or intended for a particular purpose:building lots a parking lotground an area of land that is used for a particular purpose :The kids were playing on waste ground near the school. the site of an ancient burial groundland, lot or ground?Land is used for large areas of open land in the country, especially when it is used for farming. A lot is often a smaller piece of land in a town or city, especially one intended for building or parking on. Ground is any area of open land; a ground is an area of land designed or used for a particular purpose or activity.space a large area of land that has no buildings on it:The city has plenty of open space. the wide open spaces of the Canadian prairiesplot a small piece of land used or intended for a particular purpose:She bought a small plot of land to build a house. a vegetable plotlot or plot? Either a lot or a plot can be used for building on. Only a plot can also be used for growing vegetables or burying people.Patterns an open space open/​empty/​vacant/​waste/​derelict land/​ground a/​an empty/​vacant lot/​plot
  4. Word Origin late Old English (in sense 3 of the noun), of unknown origin. The sense ‘secret plan’, dating from the late 16th cent., is associated with Old French complot ‘dense crowd, secret project’, the same word being used occasionally in English from the mid 16th cent.Extra examples She has constructed a complicated plot, with a large cast of characters. The main plot revolves around a suspicious death. The plots each measure 10 metres by 20 metres. The police claim to have uncovered a plot by terrorists to assassinate the president. There are several unexpected twists in the plot before the murderer is revealed. There is a clever plot twist near the end of the film. They had taken part in a Jacobite plot against William III. They own a five-acre plot of land. This car chase does nothing to advance the plot. a plot measuring 10 m by 20 m At the back of the house was a small vegetable plot. He had been the victim of an elaborate murder plot. He was buried in the family plot at the cemetery. She bought a small plot of land to build a house. The military had foiled an assassination plot against the president. The novel is well organized in terms of plot.Idioms (British English, informal) to lose your ability to understand or deal with what is happening used to say that a situation is becoming more complicated and difficult to understand
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