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

Example Sentences

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
Rendon is one of several individuals currently under investigation by a special prosecutor for their involvement in the scheme. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 17 Nov. 2022 Dye’s absence will mean not just a change in personnel, but likely one in scheme as well. Los Angeles Times, 15 Nov. 2022 DiMassa’s wife and his former business partner also pleaded guilty earlier this year, while a fourth person charged in the scheme awaits trial. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 3 Nov. 2022 At least two of the people involved in the scheme served jail time for improperly referring patients to a health-care facility for profit. Michael S. Rosenwald, Washington Post, 2 Nov. 2022 Adam Ferrise reports neurologist Deepak Raheja and former Avanir Pharmaceuticals employee Frank Mazzucco admitted to their roles in the scheme on Monday, the day their trial in Akron federal court was set to begin. cleveland, 1 Nov. 2022 Hamel pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme in 2019, a day after he, Garmo and several others were indicted. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, 28 Oct. 2022 In August, Adam Fox and Barry Croft, who led the plot, were found guilty in federal court for their role in the scheme, part of a broader effort by the Biden administration to crack down on cases of domestic terrorism. Ben Kesling, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2022 Monaco added that, as public reports indicate, French authorities have already arrested executives implicated in the scheme. Robert Legare, CBS News, 18 Oct. 2022
Verb
Chicago lost the game 12-7 and likely used the extra days off to scheme up a new offensive game plan. Michael Arinze, Chicago Tribune, 20 Nov. 2022 The plan to scheme open secondary options didn't really work today, and nor did settling for a field goal at the end. Nate Atkins, The Indianapolis Star, 11 Sep. 2022 No matter what the Dolphins tried to scheme up against the Bengals, Cincinnati’s offensive line held their ground. Cincinnati Enquirer, The Enquirer, 30 Sep. 2022 Trying to scheme your way to a pass rush is a risky proposition in the NFL. Kent Somers, The Arizona Republic, 22 Aug. 2022 Sorvino costarred in the cult comedy classic opposite Lisa Kudrow, playing a pair of charming but vapid best friends who scheme to dominate their high school reunion ten years after graduating. Giovana Gelhoren, PEOPLE.com, 29 June 2022 The Huskies lost Finkley on the defensive line from last season, which means more teams will scheme to make Osborne the prime target. Dennis Victory, al, 5 Aug. 2022 Because the Beavers’ fifth-year coordinator can’t wait to get to the whiteboard and digital devices to scheme for the Sept. 3 opener against Boise State. oregonlive, 24 Aug. 2022 Rounding out the category is The Tinder Swindler, a true crime doc about a man who used the dating app to scheme unsuspecting women out of cash. Tyler Coates, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 Aug. 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.

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 29 Nov. 2022.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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