Definition of plum in English:



  • 1An oval fleshy fruit which is purple, reddish, or yellow when ripe and contains a flattish pointed stone.

    • ‘It is these peaches, apricots, cherries, plums, nectarines, citrus fruits and figs that once again fill the Orchard House with their heady scent.’
    • ‘As she got close she realized that the fruits that hung from the heavy lush branches were small and purple, like a plum.’
    • ‘Quarter each plum and place plums and their stones in a large preserving pan with lemon juice.’
    • ‘You could also make it with apples, pears, or even stone fruit such as plums or apricots.’
    • ‘Halve the plums, remove the stones, then slice each half into four or six wedges, depending on their thickness.’
    • ‘At that time it grew a very different range of crops ranging from soft fruit, apples, plums and pears, to onions and leeks - the usual vegetables of the time.’
    • ‘If they are very lucky there may be some fruit, wild plums or a crab apple.’
    • ‘Meanwhile, stone the plums and cut each in quarters.’
    • ‘The wasps are eating all the ripe plums that we didn't get around to picking over the weekend.’
    • ‘After six I don't eat anything except fruit - plums, dried dates, mangoes or grapes.’
    • ‘This recipe works with a variety of fruit: apples, apricots, plums… Here, I used 6 small pears (of three different kinds).’
    • ‘He would discover in his own way the lacy texture of a cantaloupe or the dusky purple of a ripe plum.’
    • ‘Brown rot can affect plums and other stone fruits.’
    • ‘Ripe plums make excellent snacks, and because they're also high in fibre, teaming them with a slice of cheese will limit the amount of saturated fat that your body absorbs.’
    • ‘Figs, plums, pears, apples, peaches and other fruits were grown there.’
    • ‘And not just any old plums, but ripe, juicy plums all the better to fill the bellies of the most needy.’
    • ‘Well, why not pip along to The Orchard in Bishopthorpe for a squeeze of some lovely luscious plums, pears, apples and soft fruits.’
    • ‘Rinse and stone the plums, removing any stalks as you go.’
    • ‘Stone fruit includes plums, peaches, nectarines and cherries - all those delicious things that we import from other parts of the country around Christmas time.’
    • ‘You prepare breakfast - a gourmet feast of hearty muesli, Bulgarian yoghurt, freshly collected wild berries, ripe plums and cherries - perfect energy food, nutritious and tasty.’
    1. 1.1West Indian [usually with modifier]A small edible fruit from any of a number of trees.
      • ‘Buying paradise plum, icy mint, sky juice, suck-suck or busta through the fence.’
  • 2The deciduous tree which bears plums.

    • ‘Spring was finally feeling about him and the plum tree was blooming, buds of white and lavender and pink sprawling out in pastel against the blue of the sky.’
    • ‘Spring flowering trees such as flowering cherries, plums and apricots should not be pruned during winter, otherwise you will cut off many of the flowers.’
    • ‘There was a huge plum tree in my yard and we would climb it en masse and fill buckets (I swear this is true).’
    • ‘Nothing like standing under the plum tree in the cool of the morning and having a couple of sweet ones for breakfast.’
    • ‘Each year local people by tradition go to view plum blossoms in early spring.’
    • ‘It is manicured and contains mature planting, a lawn and a plum tree.’
    • ‘The plum tree in our garden is covered in blossom, as are the trees outside my office window.’
    • ‘The trail is embraced by a canopy of plums and mango trees laden with soon to be ripe fruit.’
    • ‘Everard sat silently against the plum tree, his favorite tree, his favorite spot in all of Dustin Manor's expansive grounds.’
    • ‘If you have space in your yard, do plant a plum tree - your family will thank you for it.’
    • ‘Apple, pear, plum and cherry trees shadow the hard tennis court which has full perimeter fencing entwined with climbing roses and clematis.’
    • ‘Varieties of pear, sweet cherry and plum are known to be self-pollinating.’
    • ‘White and red are the two major colours of plum flowers.’
    • ‘There are lots of plums on the plum tree, funnily enough, even though the leaves curled up and fell off a long time ago.’
    • ‘‘He is looking after a few bushes and shrubs and has even placed a circle of white stones around a small plum tree,’ he added.’
    • ‘There is a plum tree right outside the front door to Ryan's basement suite, so just prior to departure Moses climbed the tree in order to lob the fruit down to me.’
  • 3[mass noun] A reddish-purple colour.

    ‘a pure silk shirt in shades of cream and soft plum’
    [count noun] ‘rosy pinks, rich coppers, and deep plums are the big fashion news’
    [as modifier] ‘a plum blazer’
    • ‘It had been transformed to be quite crooked and swelled, painted in a vibrant deep plum and green.’
    • ‘If you've got the time, or the inclination, layer on a single stroke of eye shadow in sheer shades of lavender, iridescent plum, taupe or bronzy brown.’
    • ‘The basic palette comprises green, white and every shade of red from pale pink to deep plum.’
    • ‘It had cream painted walls with the odd panel of dark plum red colour, and huge canvases of gold paintings.’
    • ‘It was an incredible show full of optimism, seen best in the romantically nostalgic jersey dresses and flared-trouser suits in deep, warm colours such as blueberry and plum.’
    • ‘She had sweet green eyes that went surprisingly well with her plum purple hair.’
    • ‘I hastily pulled its deep plum colored wool around my shoulders and clasped it as I ran down the stairs.’
    • ‘Moving the stack, she finds a cute little top in her favorite colour, plum purple.’
    • ‘The title glows in fucshia, lime and plum against a black background.’
    • ‘They are grown for the beautiful colours of their foliage: lemony green, pink, plum, cerise, chocolate, russet and flame.’
    • ‘It has deep, plum walls, floral candelabras and a narrow bench laden with plump cushions.’
    • ‘Because these plants are seed grown, the flower colour ranges from white to deep plum, lavender and blush, some spotted, others speckled or plain.’
    • ‘Leaves can be green or patterned, often with red-tinged undersides or spotted with deep plum.’
    • ‘Modern hybrids come in every colour from white and apricot to deep plum.’
    • ‘Dark berry colours will also be very popular; plum, aubergine, dark raspberry and even chocolate colours.’
    • ‘You'll find plenty of ties in juicy shades such as berry and plum.’
    • ‘The colours are more autumnal, shades of plum and mahogany rather than Mediterranean.’
  • 4informal [usually as modifier] A thing, typically a job, considered to be highly desirable.

    ‘he landed a plum assistant producer's job’
    • ‘If I knew I was handed an academic plum I should have worked for just because I whined to the right people, I don't think I could sleep as soundly at night.’
    • ‘Cuper knows he will land a plum job, one with near unlimited funds, where winning silverware will be comparatively simple.’
    • ‘Kinder was offered the plum position directly by the White House.’
    • ‘After so long in opposition, Cook was delighted with such a plum position but despite his undoubted political acumen he came to be regarded as no more than an indifferent performer.’
    • ‘Health care is by far the richest potential plum amongst Canada's remaining public services.’
    • ‘Landing those plum international assignments, however, is harder than ever.’
    • ‘Today's lucky hard-up is a sales executive from Surrey who has to be the biggest plum in the south-east.’
    • ‘IT'S HEARTENING TO LEARN ABOUT choreographers who snag a plum full-time job at a college or university.’
    • ‘He's still waiting for the big plum role that will make him a household name.’
    • ‘Meanwhile why don't ask Muslim ministers who have been given plum posts in the coalition government to do something for the community.’
    • ‘If you're a foreign correspondent, you've got a plum assignment and you've learned how to play the game.’
    • ‘The private sector was miles ahead when the idea was first launched and got itself some amazing plum deals.’
    • ‘Julia Haworth took acting lessons to combat shyness… and went on to land a plum role in the nation's favourite TV soap.’
    • ‘You can get them in a room and threaten them with regulations, you can offer the executives cushy positions on the board of crown enterprises or other plum jobs, or you can just have the unions attack them.’
    • ‘They are certainly in line to be handed the plum positions.’
    • ‘If he wants to reclaim the front page photo spot his best move might be to offer her a plum diplomatic post a long way from home.’
    • ‘Throughout that era, territory was the most coveted of resources, the plum prize in any power struggle, the mark of distinction between the victors and the defeated.’
    • ‘There may be a lot more women working - 70% of British women, in fact - but they generally earn less than men and rarely get the plum jobs.’
    • ‘He favors free trade and giving firms from donor nations the first crack at plum investments.’
    excellent, very good, wonderful, marvellous, choice, best, prize, first-class
    great, terrific, cushy
    View synonyms


  • ‘the helicopter crashed plum on the cabins’
    variant spelling of plumb
    • ‘My mental status, right now, sometimes I feel like I have just plum lost it, really.’
    • ‘I guess somewhere between running between the kid on ECMO and trying to draw blood from an arm the size of my index finger, I just plum forgot about it.’
    • ‘And it appears that I'm plum out of ice cream (although for some strange reason, I have several boxes of cones).’
    • ‘Greg and I plum forgot to back things up just in case.’
    • ‘No other boat reached a final, and the eight, defending Olympic champions, came plum last.’
    • ‘And the panels are made in a factory environment, so everything is square, precise, plum and all that.’
    • ‘I got so lost in trying to guess what every feather and coloured band on his body denoted that I plum missed the camp being set up, and nearly didn't notice Doc on his way back over.’
    • ‘Using that event of history for the surroundings you now throw your characters plum in the middle of it all and watch them go.’
    • ‘This time they were plum out of luck and beaten by a high octane-fuelled side who certainly saved their best wine until last.’
    • ‘Both were meant to show cutting-edge technology, but now they are extremely campy, outdated relics of yesteryear and just a plum bad idea.’


  • have a plum in one's mouth

    • Have an accent thought typical of the English upper classes.

      ‘an affable dilettante with a plum in his mouth’
      • ‘He reckons he speaks with a plum in his mouth.’
      • ‘His idea of inhabiting the character is to talk like he has a plum in his mouth.’
      • ‘The way Miss Long speaks which sounds like she has a plum in her mouth I find absolutely fascinating and when she rolls those eyes of hers brilliant.’
      • ‘‘He got stuck in on the rugby field but even then he spoke as though he had a plum in his mouth,’ recalled Robin.’
  • like a ripe plum (or ripe plums)

    • Used to convey that something can be obtained with little or no effort.

      ‘the country is likely to fall into the enemy's hands like a ripe plum’
      • ‘He disposes of the ruler so that the throne falls into his hand like a ripe plum.’
      • ‘In actuality, however, it was one of the components of Karl Marx's dual strategy for world revolution: Debase the language and the money, and capitalism will fall like a ripe plum.’


Old English plūme, from medieval Latin pruna, from Latin prunum (see prune).