Old English plante "young tree or shrub, herb newly planted, a shoot or strip recently sprouted from seed," from Latin planta "sprout, shoot, cutting" (source of Spanish planta, French plante), which is perhaps from an unattested verb *plantare "to drive in with the feet, push into the ground with the feet," or perhaps "to level the earth," from planta "sole of the foot," from nasalized form of PIE root *plat- "to spread." German Pflanz, Irish cland, Welsh plant also are from Latin.
Broader sense of "any small vegetable life, vegetation generally" (sometimes popularly excluding trees), "an individual living being with material organization but not animal in nature" is recorded by 1550s.
Most extended usages are from the verb, on the notion of "something planted;" such as "construction for an industrial process," 1789, at first with reference to the machinery, tools, apparatus, etc., later also the building; also slang meaning "a spy" (1812). Many of these follow similar developments in the French form of the word.
Old English plantian "put or set in the ground to grow" (transitive and intransitive), also "introduce and establish, set up for the first time," from Latin *plantare "to plant, drive in with the feet" (see plant (n.)). Reinforced by cognate Old French planter.
Without reference to growing, "to insert firmly," late 14c. Of colonies, "introduce and establish new settlers in," from c. 1300. Figuratively, of ideas, etc., from early 15c. Meaning "to station (someone) for a surreptitious or secret purpose" is by 1690s; sense of "place (something) in a concealed place to mislead a later discoverer" is by 1865. In pugilistic slang, "to land, deliver" (a blow, etc.) by 1808. Meaning "to bury" is U.S. slang from U.S., 1855. Related: Planted; planting.
1823, said to have been discovered on the coast of the Pacific northwest of North America during Cook's third expedition and so-named by the sailors, "from its striking resemblance to a large spider when it first appears above the surface, before the stem begins to rise from the spherical arrangement of the leaves, or the flagellae begin to creep to any distance from among them to the soil around" [Peter Sutherland, "Journal of a Voyage in Baffin's Bay," 1852]; from spider + plant (n.).
1719, "worker in a manufacturing establishment," agent noun from manufacture (v.). Meaning "one who employs workers in manufacturing" is from 1752.
proprietary name of a brand of cigarette lighter, patented 1934 by Zippo Manufacturing Co., Bradford, Pa.
German manufacturing company, named for founder Max Braun, mechanical engineer in Frankfurt am Main (1921).
1670s, "action of beating into thin plates," noun of action from laminate (v.). Meaning "any layer of laminated substance" is from 1858; meaning "process of manufacturing laminated products" is from 1945.
in reference to a return to simpler ways of living, without modern electricity, manufacturing, conveniences, etc., 1915, from the adverbial phrase; see nature (n.).
masc. proper name and surname, variant of Alan (q.v.). In reference to a wrench, key, screw, etc. with a hexagonal socket or head, 1913, from the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut, U.S.
German monoplane of World War I, 1913, from name of Anton "Anthony" H.G. Fokker (1890-1939), Dutch engineer and inventor who started his aircraft manufacturing business in Germany in 1912.