scheme

noun
\ ˈskēm How to pronounce scheme (audio) \

Definition of scheme

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a plan or program of action especially : a crafty or secret one
2 : a systematic or organized configuration : design color scheme
3 : a concise statement or table : epitome
4a : a graphic sketch or outline
b archaic
(1) : a mathematical or astronomical diagram
(2) : a representation of the astrological aspects of the planets at a particular time

scheme

verb
schemed; scheming

Definition of scheme (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

: to form plans also : plot, intrigue

transitive verb

: to form a scheme for

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from scheme

Verb

schemer noun

Choose the Right Synonym for scheme

Noun

plan, design, plot, scheme, project mean a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end. plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation. plans for a house design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony. a design for a new dress plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions. the plot of the play scheme stresses calculation of the end in view and may apply to a plan motivated by craftiness and self-interest. a scheme to defraud the government project often stresses imaginative scope and vision. a project to develop the waterfront

Examples of scheme in a Sentence

Noun a scheme to cheat people out of their money The company has a new scheme for insurance coverage. a scheme to improve the economy the color scheme of a room Verb He felt that the other men were scheming against him. He was betrayed by a scheming friend.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The two men accused of crafting an elaborate statewide charter school scheme to funnel tens of millions of public school dollars into their own pockets pleaded guilty Friday to felony conspiracy charges. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Accused A3 charter school ringleaders plead guilty to conspiracy," 26 Feb. 2021 Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman, former associates of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani, were charged over an alleged scheme to funnel foreign money to Republican politicians, with a trial expected this year. Jerry Dunleavy, Washington Examiner, "New York judge calls for DOJ investigation in SDNY handling of Iran sanctions case," 18 Feb. 2021 The Securities and Exchange Commission has settled with the CEO of Sunnyvale lab company Arrayit, even as her husband, the former company president, faces criminal charges over an alleged scheme to offer fraudulent coronavirus testing. Taylor Kate Brown, San Francisco Chronicle, "Bay Briefing: The Bay Area police killing that barely registered," 12 Feb. 2021 The indictment says patients lost a total of nearly $200,000 to the alleged scheme, and charges Derges with eight counts of wire fraud for selling the treatment to five people, each of whom spent thousands of dollars on it. Austin Huguelet, USA TODAY, "Missouri lawmaker indicted for selling fake stem cell treatment she said could cure COVID-19," 4 Feb. 2021 The indictment places Dorothy Smith, a U.S. Coast Guard employee and credentialing specialist at the regional exam center on La. 22, at the center of an alleged scheme to defraud the government that ran from 2012 until 2019. John Simerman, NOLA.com, "Coast Guard test-fixing scheme nets 16 guilty pleas so far, U.S. Attorney says," 2 Feb. 2021 Certainly, there would never be talk about Department of Justice officials contemplating wearing a wire as part of an entrapment scheme to remove a President Biden through the 25th Amendment. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Our Upside-Down Post-Election World," 24 Dec. 2020 Federal officials say a San Antonio man orchestrated an elaborate health care scheme that spanned a decade, scamming the federal government of $150 million and exploiting thousands of vulnerable patients in South Texas. Laura Garcia, ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio owner of hospice programs gets 20 years behind bars after telling healthy people they were going to die in complex fraud scheme," 24 Dec. 2020 That building owner ended up being convicted in a neighboring county of an arson and insurance scheme in 1990, according to Syed. NBC News, "Michigan man released from prison after spending 38 years wrongly locked up on arson charge," 18 Dec. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb From Spain, El Planeta is about a mother and daughter on the verge of eviction who scheme their way into better lives. Jeremy Hallock, Dallas News, "The Sundance Film Festival is coming to Oak Cliff," 15 Jan. 2021 Quarterback Andy Dalton wasn’t sharp, but Kellen Moore and company were able to scheme up enough production to keep the offense afloat. John Owning, Dallas News, "Film room: 3 things we learned from Cowboys-49ers, including why this was Kellen Moore’s best-called game of 2020," 21 Dec. 2020 The Lions need to completely overhaul their linebacking corps this offseason, and a player like Moses should fit no matter what scheme their new coach decides to run. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Alabama vs. Ohio State loaded with NFL draft prospects; Detroit Lions should watch these 6," 11 Jan. 2021 At the time, Coombs was still helping the Tennessee Titans scheme up defenses to stop the best quarterbacks in the NFL. Nathan Baird, cleveland, "Why Ohio State defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs calls Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence an all-time great," 29 Dec. 2020 Foles had been skittish in previous games, and even minus their best pass rushers, the Vikings were able to scheme up pressure or simulate it in a 19-13 victory. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "A ‘comfortable’ Mitch Trubisky has had a voice in some of the changes to the Chicago Bears offense. Why didn’t they happen sooner? ‘I was asking,’ the quarterback says.," 16 Dec. 2020 McDaniel can scheme receivers open from 20-yard line to 20-yard line. Mike Jones, USA TODAY, "Opinion: By bullying their old foes on national stage, Rams confirm how far the Patriots have fallen," 11 Dec. 2020 After watching Nolan pick apart his defense with his arm as a sophomore, Tello decided to scheme heavy against the pass the following season, which would force Nolan to beat Ayala with his feet. Joe Freeman, oregonlive, "Oregon State quarterback Chance Nolan brings ‘quiet’ demeanor and ‘unflappable’ instincts to first start with Beavers," 4 Dec. 2020 The offensive line has questions, but Harrell should be able to scheme ways to keep Slovis on his feet. J. Brady Mccollough Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "Clay Helton and USC won big this offseason. But now comes the hard part," 31 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'scheme.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of scheme

Noun

circa 1595, in the meaning defined at sense 4b(1)

Verb

1749, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

History and Etymology for scheme

Noun

Latin schemat-, schema arrangement, figure, from Greek schēmat-, schēma, from echein to have, hold, be in (such) a condition; akin to Old English sige victory, Sanskrit sahate he prevails

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about scheme

Time Traveler for scheme

Time Traveler

The first known use of scheme was circa 1595

See more words from the same year

Statistics for scheme

Last Updated

3 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Scheme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scheme. Accessed 8 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLA Chicago APA Merriam-Webster

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for scheme

scheme

noun

English Language Learners Definition of scheme

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a clever and often dishonest plan to do or get something
chiefly British : an official plan or program of action
: the way that something is arranged or organized

scheme

verb

English Language Learners Definition of scheme (Entry 2 of 2)

: to make plans to do or get something in a secret and often dishonest way

scheme

noun
\ ˈskēm How to pronounce scheme (audio) \

Kids Definition of scheme

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a secret plan : plot
2 : a plan of something to be done : project
3 : an organized design I like the room's color scheme.

scheme

verb
schemed; scheming

Kids Definition of scheme (Entry 2 of 2)

: to form a secret plan

Other Words from scheme

schemer noun

scheme

noun
\ ˈskēm How to pronounce scheme (audio) \

Medical Definition of scheme

: schema

Keep scrolling for more

scheme

noun

Legal Definition of scheme

1 : a combination of elements (as statutes or regulations) that are connected, adjusted, and integrated by design : a systematic plan or program an inspection scheme
2 : a clever and often dishonest plan a scheme to defraud investors

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on scheme

What made you want to look up scheme? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Who Knew?

How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!