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From Middle English harvest, hervest, from Old English hærfest (autumn, harvest-time; August), from Proto-West Germanic *harbist, from Proto-Germanic *harbistaz (harvest-time, autumn, fall), from *harbaz, from Proto-Indo-European *kerp-.



harvest (countable and uncountable, plural harvests)

  1. (agriculture) The process of gathering the ripened crop; harvesting.
    The constant rain made the harvest a nightmare this year.
  2. The yield of harvesting, i.e., the gathered crops or fruits.
    This year's cotton harvest was great but the corn harvest was disastrous.
    • 1907, Harold Bindloss, chapter 20, in The Dust of Conflict[1]:
      Hester Earle and Violet Wayne were moving about the aisle with bundles of wheat-ears and streamers of ivy, for the harvest thanksgiving was shortly to be celebrated, while the vicar stood waiting for their directions on the chancel steps with a great handful of crimson gladioli.
    • 1911, Jack London, The Whale Tooth:
      The frizzle-headed man-eaters were loath to leave their fleshpots so long as the harvest of human carcases was plentiful. Sometimes, when the harvest was too plentiful, they imposed on the missionaries by letting the word slip out that on such a day there would be a killing and a barbecue.
    • c. 1598–1600 (date written), William Shakespeare, “As You Like It”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies [] (First Folio), London: [] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, →OCLC, [Act III, scene v]:
      To glean the broken ears after the man / That the main harvest reaps.
  3. (by extension) The product or result of any exertion or course of action; reward or consequences.
    The surveillance mission yielded a healthy harvest of intel.
  4. The season of gathering ripened crops; specifically, the time of reaping and gathering grain.
  5. (UK, dialectal) The third season of the year; autumn; fall.
    Harvest is usually very damp and rainy.
  6. (paganism) A modern pagan ceremony held on or around the autumn equinox, which is in the harvesting season.


  • (agricultural or horticultural yield): crop
  • (season of the year): autumn, fall

Derived terms[edit]


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.


harvest (third-person singular simple present harvests, present participle harvesting, simple past and past participle harvested)

  1. (transitive) To bring in a harvest; reap; glean.
    We harvested the apples in September already.
  2. (transitive, euphemistic) To kill for meat, slaughter.
    Piggie the clever pig didn't want to be harvested for his best cuts, so he resolved to escape.
  3. (intransitive) To be occupied bringing in a harvest.
    We're going to harvest day and night, because the weather is about to turn sour.
  4. (transitive) To win, achieve a gain.
    The rising star harvested well-deserved acclaim, even an Oscar under 21.

Derived terms[edit]