- 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 schemer
Is that mass of cream cheese you put on a bagel a schemer or a shmeer?Mazel Tov, Arvind! But Are You Sure It’s Not Kneydl?
May 31, 2013
And, second, how can he bust a drug dealer and a Ponzi schemer without endangering Rita and Mitzi?Do I Have to Read Kisser?
February 13, 2010
In the strange case of alleged Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, a new bit player has emerged.God and Ponzi
February 19, 2009
I did it, I presume, simply because I'm a schemer at heart, and I knew it would work.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
I'm a schemer too, Mister Asgill, only—one at a time, one at a time!The Wild Geese
Stanley John Weyman
Circumstances have made me, as you see, a politician, a schemer if you like.Mr. Grex of Monte Carlo
E. Phillips Oppenheim
The woman could not have been so deep a schemer in those days.Madeline Payne, the Detective's Daughter
Lawrence L. Lynch
It is the contriver, the schemer, who is caught by the Law, and never the philosopher.The Day's Work, Volume 1
- 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 schemer
1724, "a contriver, plotter," agent noun from scheme (v.).
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 schemer
see best-laid plans (schemes).