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From Middle English harvesthervest, 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-, ultimately derived from *(s)ker-(to cut). A general word for “to harvest” that had a tendency in some stocks to be specialized for the picking of fruit while in others for the reaping of grain.

Alternative forms

  • harvisthervestharsthairst (all obsolete or dialectal)


  • (US) IPA(key)/ˈhɑɹ.vəst//ˈhɑɹ.vɪst/
  • (UK) IPA(key)/ˈhɑː(ɹ)vɪst//ˈhɑː(ɹ)vəst/
  • (General Australian, General New Zealand) IPA(key)/ˈhaːvəst/


harvest (countable and uncountableplural harvests)

  1. (Britain, dialectal) The third season of the year; autumn; fall.
    Harvest is usually very damp and rainy.
  2. The season of gathering ripened crops; specifically, the time of reaping and gathering grain.
  3. The process of gathering the ripened crop; harvesting.
  4. The yield of harvesting, i.e., the gathered crops or fruits.
    This year’s cotton harvest was great but the corn harvest was disastrous.
  5. (by extension) The product or result of any exertion or course of action; reward or consequences.
  6. (paganism) A modern pagan ceremony held on or around the autumn equinox, which is in the harvesting season.


harvest (third-person singular simple present harvestspresent participle harvestingsimple past, and past participle harvested)

  1. (transitive) To bring in a harvest; reap; glean.
  2. (intransitive) To be occupied bringing in a harvest.
     Harvesting is a stressful, thirsty occupation
  3. (transitive) To win, achieve a gain.
     The rising star harvested well-deserved acclaim, even an Oscar under 21
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