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

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 Various Trump allies have claimed that Dominion voting systems had somehow been manipulated as part of an elaborate scheme to steal the election, which Biden won. Susan Montoya Bryan And, BostonGlobe.com, 17 June 2022 Various Trump allies have claimed that Dominion voting systems had somehow been manipulated as part of an elaborate scheme to steal the election, which President Joe Biden won. CBS News, 17 June 2022 With Green Bay, Reed expects to step back into a familiar defensive scheme. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, 16 June 2022 Mark Alan Patterson, a 53-year-old tax return preparer in Beaverton, was sentenced in May to 46 months in prison for wire fraud and tax evasion in a scheme to steal tax refunds from more than 160 clients. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 16 June 2022 Federal prosecutors allege that Graveran was trying to flee to Cuba to escape an investigation into a multimillion-dollar Medicare scheme. Jonathan Edwards, Washington Post, 16 June 2022 Norman Rosen, 84, faces up to 20 years in prison for his role in a wide-ranging scheme to prescribe opioids to people who didn’t need them. Lee O. Sanderlin, Baltimore Sun, 16 June 2022 The inaugural flight of a controversial UK government scheme to send asylum-seekers to Rwanda was stopped on Tuesday at the eleventh hour, after an intervention by the European Court of Human Rights. Alexandra Meeks, CNN, 15 June 2022 An Irving couple on Wednesday avoided potentially lengthy prison sentences for their involvement in a scheme that defrauded a San Antonio bank. Patrick Danner, San Antonio Express-News, 15 June 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Reich’s offense is designed to scheme guys open and give them room to run. Joel A. Erickson, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Reich’s offense is designed to scheme guys open and give them room to run. Joel A. Erickson, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Meanwhile, Bakary keeps trying to get them out of there, teaming up with a fellow tirailleur, Salif (Bamar Kane), to scheme and steal his way to freedom. Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 May 2022 Reich’s offense is designed to scheme guys open and give them room to run. Joel A. Erickson, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Reich’s offense is designed to scheme guys open and give them room to run. Joel A. Erickson, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Kudrow costarred in the 1997 comedy opposite Mira Sorvino, playing a pair of charming but vapid best friends who scheme to dominate their high school reunion ten years after graduating. Dan Heching, PEOPLE.com, 21 Mar. 2022 Reich’s offense is designed to scheme guys open and give them room to run. Joel A. Erickson, USA TODAY, 29 Mar. 2022 Reich’s offense is designed to scheme guys open and give them room to run. Joel A. Erickson, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Mar. 2022 See More

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.

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

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

Dictionary Entries Near scheme

schematograph

scheme

scheme arch

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for scheme

Last Updated

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Scheme.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/scheme. Accessed 30 Jun. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for scheme

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

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

More from Merriam-Webster on scheme

Nglish: Translation of scheme for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of scheme for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about scheme

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Great Words for Scrabble

  • scrabble tiles that read scrabble quiz
  • Which of the following Q-without-U words means the number five in cards or dice?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

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!