scheme

1 of 2

noun

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
4
a
: 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

2 of 2

verb

schemed; scheming

intransitive verb

: to form plans
also : plot, intrigue

transitive verb

: to form a scheme for
schemer noun
Choose the Right Synonym for scheme

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.
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The new parking scheme, with fewer spots and more space for public transportation and rideshare services, seemed to work well. Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times, 11 July 2024 His lawyer added that Porter became addicted to gambling and amassed large debts prior to the scheme to derail his own performance in games to benefit his co-conspirators. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 10 July 2024
Verb
The film also stars Winston Duke as a fellow stunt coordinator, Hannah Waddingham as a scheming film producer, Aaron Taylor-Johnson as an A-list movie star whose disappearance kicks off the film's story, and Stephanie Hsu as the actor's assistant. Tommy McArdle, Peoplemag, 3 July 2024 Robinhood is scheming its next crypto play ❌ American Airlines flight attendants failed to reach a union deal 🚜 John Deere is laying off hundreds because farmers aren’t buying equipment Surprising discoveries Greece is introducing six-day work weeks. Laura Bratton, Quartz, 3 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for scheme 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'scheme.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

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

First Known Use

Noun

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

Verb

1749, in the meaning defined at transitive sense

Time Traveler
The first known use of scheme was circa 1595

Dictionary Entries Near scheme

Cite this Entry

“Scheme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scheme. Accessed 16 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

scheme

1 of 2 noun
1
: a pictorial sketch or outline
2
: a brief statement in an outline, table, or list
3
: a plan or program of action
a new scheme for better insurance coverage
especially : a sly or secret one
a scheme to seize control of the territory
4
: a regular or organized design, arrangement, or pattern
the color scheme of a room
your whole scheme of life

scheme

2 of 2 verb
schemed; scheming
1
: to form a scheme for
2
: to form plans
especially : to engage in a plot
schemer noun

Medical Definition

scheme

noun
: schema

Legal Definition

scheme

noun
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

More from Merriam-Webster on scheme

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