- a plan, design, or program of action to be followed; project.
- an underhand plot; intrigue.
- a visionary or impractical project.
- a body or system of related doctrines, theories, etc.: a scheme of philosophy.
- any system of correlated things, parts, etc., or the manner of its arrangement.
- a plan, program, or policy officially adopted and followed, as by a government or business: The company's pension scheme is very successful.
- an analytical or tabular statement.
- a diagram, map, or the like.
- an astrological diagram of the heavens.
- to devise as a scheme; plan; plot; contrive.
- to lay schemes; devise plans; plot.
Origin of scheme
SynonymsSee more synonyms for scheme on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for scheme
The scheme has been condemned by civil liberties groups and queried by the National Association of Head Teachers.Britain May Spy on Preschoolers Searching for Potential Jihadis
January 7, 2015
Retailers were hammered by the scheme because checks and balances were scant in 2012, when the eBay grifting peaked.The Insane $11 Billion Scam at Retailers’ Return Desks
December 19, 2014
Besides the mendacity of it all, such a scheme misses the obvious truth that “the audience has a mind of its own.”The Insane Swedish Plan to Rate Games for Sexism
November 20, 2014
This is a new spin on a GOP scheme to create a more favorable Republican playing field for the 2016 presidential election.GOP States’ Hitlist: Abortion, Unions & Hillary
November 18, 2014
Because the fact of the matter is the Today show part is really, in a way, the smallest part in the great 34-hour scheme of it.Al Roker, Sleepless in 30 Rock for #Rokerthon
November 12, 2014
The laughter and talk were as little subdued as the scheme of the rooms.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
They catalogued Dick's virtues, and then Viviette unfolded her scheme.Viviette
William J. Locke
On the level, now, do you think you could get away with that young Gilder scheme you've been planning?
He went to Garson yesterday with a scheme to rob your house.
It after wards appears that the scheme of Rumi-naui was one of treachery.Apu Ollantay
- a systematic plan for a course of action
- a systematic arrangement of correlated parts; system
- a secret plot
- a visionary or unrealizable project
- a chart, diagram, or outline
- an astrological diagram giving the aspects of celestial bodies at a particular time
- mainly British a plan formally adopted by a commercial enterprise or governmental body, as for pensions, etc
- mainly Scot an area of housing that is laid out esp by a local authority; estate
- (tr) to devise a system for
- to form intrigues (for) in an underhand manner
Word Origin and History for scheme
1550s, "figure of speech," from Medieval Latin schema "shape, figure, form, appearance; figure of speech; posture in dancing," from Greek skhema (genitive skhematos) "figure, appearance, the nature of a thing," related to skhein "to get," and ekhein "to have," from PIE root *segh- "to hold, to hold in one's power, to have" (cf. Sanskrit sahate "he masters, overcomes," sahah "power, victory;" Avestan hazah "power, victory;" Greek ekhein "to have, hold;" Gothic sigis, Old High German sigu, Old Norse sigr, Old English sige "victory").
The sense "program of action" first is attested 1640s. Unfavorable overtones (selfish, devious) began to creep in early 18c. Meaning "complex unity of coordinated component elements" is from 1736. Color scheme is attested from 1884.
"devise a scheme," 1767 (earlier "reduce to a scheme," 1716), from scheme (n.). Related: Schemed; scheming.
Idioms and Phrases with scheme
see best-laid plans (schemes).