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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In the grand scheme of things, tacking on almost 10 more yards is big. Robert Avery, Houston Chronicle, "Deer Park hopes its fourth-quarter drama won’t be needed in Katy Saturday night," 14 Sep. 2019 The penalty ended up not mattering in the grand scheme of things. Dan Labbe, cleveland.com, "Browns offensive coordinator Todd Monken: NFL told Browns OT Greg Robinson’s blindside block shouldn’t have drawn flag," 13 Sep. 2019 Grade: B+ In the grand scheme of things, this debate won’t matter much. BostonGlobe.com, "Former vice president Joe Biden," 13 Sep. 2019 Though calls for size inclusivity at New York Fashion Week have gotten louder in recent years, curve models are still a minority in the grand scheme of castings. Hunter Mcgrady, Glamour, "Hunter McGrady: I Turned Down Over 30 Fashion Week Jobs That Weren’t Inclusive," 12 Sep. 2019 But in the larger scheme of things, xenophobia is a distraction from the leadership role that Nigeria and South Africa should play on the continent on fundamental issues of immigration and economic integration. Gilbert M Khadiagala, Quartz Africa, "Nigerians aren’t targeted more than other Africans in South Africa’s xenophobic attacks but the damage is done," 12 Sep. 2019 In the scheme of things, that shouldn’t be a big deal. Peggy Mcglone, Washington Post, "Battle between D.C. Mayor Bowser and the city’s arts commission escalates," 11 Sep. 2019 In the grand scheme of things, there is no reason why players should be prevented from accepting whatever form of payment anyone is willing to give them, whether that be from private companies or boosters or the universities themselves. Mike Finger, ExpressNews.com, "In NCAA fight, athletes inching closer to fairness," 10 Sep. 2019 These almost invariably underline the significance of the film's title in the scheme of diplomacy and rewardingly reveal the hopes and regrets that come with the territory. Todd Mccarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Human Factor': Film Review | Telluride 2019," 31 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Why did so many intelligent investors trust their fortunes to scheming financier Bernie Madoff? Wray Herbert, Washington Post, "Why do we assume people are telling us the truth?," 6 Sep. 2019 Anyone paying a fraction of attention to the drama plaguing Succession's scheming Roy family knows that lone daughter Shiv (Sarah Snook) is by far the most qualified of her father's four heirs. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "In Season 2, Succession Is Sarah Snook's Show," 12 Aug. 2019 While approvals for new licenses have resumed this year, China has set new limitations on certain genres of games, such as mahjong and poker games, and games with plot lines revolving around scheming in imperial palaces. Jane Li, Quartz, "The next stage in China’s fight against gaming addiction could ban “puppy love”," 28 June 2019 In the dark comedy, Dunst plays Krystal Gill, a water park employee and mother of one who schemes her way into a multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme that destroyed her family. Robyn Merrett, PEOPLE.com, "Kirsten Dunst Says She Feels People Think She's Just 'the Girl from Bring It On'," 28 Aug. 2019 The Zac Posen Of His Day While a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology in the ’70s, Rucci schemed his way into an internship at Halston and launched his own label in 1981. Jessica Iredale, Town & Country, "Ralph Rucci: The Rise, and Fall and Rise Again of an American Couturier," 7 Aug. 2019 Created by Jesse Armstrong, Succession centers on domineering patriarch Logan Roy (Brian Cox), founder of the Waystar Royco media conglomerate, and his scheming children. Hugh Hart, Fortune, "An Inside Look at ‘Succession’s’ Corporate Melodrama With Adam McKay and Kieran Culkin," 8 Sep. 2019 Just like in real world politics, scheming between organizations becomes rampant and at times impossible to avoid. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "Mapmaker: The Gerrymandering game that puts the fun in undermining democracy," 19 Aug. 2019 There is no scheming antihero, no overwhelming societal obstacle. Travis Deshong, Twin Cities, "Watch: See Tom Hanks as Mr. Rogers in trailer for ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’," 23 July 2019

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.

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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

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Statistics for scheme

Last Updated

15 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for scheme

The first known use of scheme was circa 1595

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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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on scheme

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with scheme

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for scheme

Spanish Central: Translation of scheme

Nglish: Translation of scheme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scheme for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about scheme

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