plant - factory


Senior Member
When you talk of a plant with the meaning factory can you use firm or company as well or is plant restricted to the producing part of a firm or company?
Ex.: There were job cuts at the ABC plant.
......................................... factory ?

Which of them are correct?

Thanks, you're always of great help to me!
  • You can use both..

    When I think of "plant" I think of places where scientific research is done.

    When I think of "factory" I think of places where products are manufactured.
    I agree with Hakro, and this is consistent with definition #2 in the on-site dictionary.
    Agree with Hakro - plant and factory are the physical premises and equipment. Plant may be even more specifically used to refer to the machinery inside the factory.
    Exactly panjandrum. I remember that when I was studying to become an accountant, one of the titles of an asset account was 'Plant & Machinery', which covered just about everything related to the manufacturing process.
    Anybody know WHY we call a factory a plant? I'm an English teacher in Turkey and one of my students asked me this question last week. I haven't been able to find an answer yet. I'd appreciate a reply (along with reference to some etymological authority, if you have one) at << No e-mail addresses in posts please >> Thanks much!

    plant (n.) O.E. plante "young tree or shrub, herb newly planted," from L. planta "sprout, shoot, cutting," perhaps from *plantare "to drive in with the feet, push into the ground with the feet," from planta "sole of the foot." Ger. Pflanze, Ir. cland, Welsh plant are from Latin. Broader sense of "any vegetable life" is first recorded 1551. The verb, "put in the ground to grow," is O.E. plantian, from L. plantare, from planta. << Excess quoted text removed >>
    Many thanks, Vikorr! That was a quick reply and exactly the information I needed. I had suspected that was how this meaning came into general usage, but didn't have an authority to back me up. I appreciate the help! Take care!