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[skee-muh] /ˈski mə/
noun, plural schemata
[skee-muh-tuh or, sometimes, skee-mah-tuh, ski-] /ˈski mə tə or, sometimes, skiˈmɑ tə, skɪ-/ (Show IPA),
a diagram, plan, or scheme.
Synonyms: outline, framework, model.
an underlying organizational pattern or structure; conceptual framework:
A schema provides the basis by which someone relates to the events he or she experiences.
(in Kantian epistemology) a concept, similar to a universal but limited to phenomenal knowledge, by which an object of knowledge or an idea of pure reason may be apprehended.
Origin of schema
First recorded in 1790-1800, schema is from the Greek word schêma form Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for schema
Historical Examples
  • The schema is, in itself, always a mere product of the imagination.

  • The schema of necessity is the existence of an object in all time.

  • Number is strictly not the schema of quantity as such, but of totality.

  • Now we must assume that the schema of quantity is really what Kant says it is, viz.

    Kant's Theory of Knowledge

    Harold Arthur Prichard
  • The turn of expression is called a Trope, and change of construction is called a schema.

  • These do not proceed according to the schema of the ordinary play of accident.

    Criminal Psychology Hans Gross
  • The schema of cause and of the causality of a thing is the real which, when posited, is always followed by something else.

  • Hence the schema is properly only the phenomenon, or the sensuous conception of an object in harmony with the category.

  • The psychological idea is, therefore, meaningless and inapplicable, except as the schema of a regulative conception.

  • That concept adheres to the schema of those who affirm the universe to be made: Naturalism excludes it.

    Rationalism John Mackinnon Robertson
British Dictionary definitions for schema


noun (pl) -mata (-mətə)
a plan, diagram, or scheme
(in the philosophy of Kant) a rule or principle that enables the understanding to apply its categories and unify experience: universal succession is the schema of causality
(psychol) a mental model of aspects of the world or of the self that is structured in such a way as to facilitate the processes of cognition and perception
(logic) an expression using metavariables that may be replaced by object language expressions to yield a well-formed formula. Thus A = A is an axiom schema for identity, representing the infinite number of axioms, x = x, y = y, z = z, etc
Word Origin
C19: from Greek: form
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for schema

plural schemata, 1796, in Kantian philosophy ("a product of the imagination intermediary between an image and a concept"), from Greek skhema (see scheme (n.)). Meaning "diagrammatic representation" is from 1890; general sense of "hypothetical outline" is by 1939.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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schema in Medicine

schema sche·ma (skē'mə)
n. pl. sche·mas or sche·ma·ta (skē-mä'tə, skĭ-māt'ə)

  1. A diagrammatic representation; an outline or a model.

  2. A pattern imposed on complex reality or experience to assist in explaining it, mediate perception, or guide response.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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