Thesaurus

scheme

noun

Synonyms of scheme

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 a clever often underhanded means to achieve an end
  • an e-mail scheme to trick unwary Internet users into disclosing passwords and financial information

Synonyms for scheme

Words Related to scheme

Phrases Synonymous with scheme

2 a secret plan for accomplishing evil or unlawful ends
  • a scheme to kidnap the president's daughter

Synonyms for scheme

Words Related to scheme

scheme

verb

Synonyms of scheme (Entry 2 of 2)

to engage in a secret plan to accomplish evil or unlawful ends
  • the town inspector had schemed to overlook the contractor's code violations in exchange for a substantial bribe

Synonyms for scheme

Words Related to scheme

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About scheme

How does the noun scheme contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of scheme are design, plan, plot, and project. While all these words mean "a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end," 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

When would design be a good substitute for scheme?

While the synonyms design and scheme are close in meaning, design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony.

a design for a new dress

When is it sensible to use plan instead of scheme?

In some situations, the words plan and scheme are roughly equivalent. However, plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation.

plans for a house

When is plot a more appropriate choice than scheme?

The synonyms plot and scheme are sometimes interchangeable, but plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions.

the plot of the play

In what contexts can project take the place of scheme?

Although the words project and scheme have much in common, project often stresses imaginative scope and vision.

a project to develop the waterfront

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

Cite this Entry

“Scheme.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/scheme. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on scheme

Dictionary: Definition of scheme

Medical Dictionary: Definition of scheme

Nglish: Translation of scheme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scheme for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about scheme

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

Slippery Words Quiz—Changing with the Times

  • ducreux self portrait yawning
  • What is an earlier meaning of nice?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

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!