The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Plant \Plant\, n. [AS. plante, L. planta.]
1. A vegetable; an organized living being, generally without
feeling and voluntary motion, and having, when complete, a
root, stem, and leaves, though consisting sometimes only
of a single leafy expansion, or a series of cellules, or
even a single cellule.
Note: Plants are divided by their structure and methods of
reproduction into two series, ph[ae]nogamous or
flowering plants, which have true flowers and seeds,
and cryptogamous or flowerless plants, which have no
flowers, and reproduce by minute one-celled spores. In
both series are minute and simple forms and others of
great size and complexity.
[1913 Webster] As to their mode of nutrition, plants
may be considered as self-supporting and dependent.
Self-supporting plants always contain chlorophyll, and
subsist on air and moisture and the matter dissolved in
moisture, and as a general rule they excrete oxygen,
and use the carbonic acid to combine with water and
form the material for their tissues. Dependent plants
comprise all fungi and many flowering plants of a
parasitic or saprophytic nature. As a rule, they have
no chlorophyll, and subsist mainly or wholly on matter
already organized, thus utilizing carbon compounds
already existing, and not excreting oxygen. But there
are plants which are partly dependent and partly
[1913 Webster] The movements of climbing plants, of
some insectivorous plants, of leaves, stamens, or
pistils in certain plants, and the ciliary motion of
zoospores, etc., may be considered a kind of voluntary
2. A bush, or young tree; a sapling; hence, a stick or staff.
"A plant of stubborn oak." --Dryden.
3. The sole of the foot. [R.] "Knotty legs and plants of
clay." --B. Jonson.
4. (Com.) The whole machinery and apparatus employed in
carrying on a trade or mechanical business; also,
sometimes including real estate, and whatever represents
investment of capital in the means of carrying on a
business, but not including material worked upon or
finished products; as, the plant of a foundry, a mill, or
5. A plan; an artifice; a swindle; a trick. [Slang]
It was n't a bad plant, that of mine, on Fikey.
(a) An oyster which has been bedded, in distinction from
one of natural growth.
(b) A young oyster suitable for transplanting. [Local,
Plant bug (Zool.), any one of numerous hemipterous insects
which injure the foliage of plants, as Lygus lineolaris,
which damages wheat and trees.
Plant cutter (Zool.), a South American passerine bird of
the genus Phytotoma, family Phytotomid[ae]. It has a
serrated bill with which it cuts off the young shoots and
buds of plants, often doing much injury.
Plant louse (Zool.), any small hemipterous insect which
infests plants, especially those of the families
Aphid[ae] and Psyllid[ae]; an aphid.