Meaning of SCHEME in English

I. scheme 1 S2 W1 AC /skiːm/ BrE AmE noun [countable]

[ Date: 1500-1600 ; Language: Latin ; Origin: schema 'arrangement, figure' , from Greek , from echein 'to have, hold, be in a condition' ]

1 . British English an official plan that is intended to help people in some way, for example by providing education or training SYN program American English :

The money will be used for teacher training schemes.

a pension scheme

scheme for

schemes for two new cross-city lines

scheme to do something

a new scheme to boost exports

pilot scheme (=something that is done on a small scale in order to see if it is successful enough to be done on a larger scale)

The pilot scheme proved to be a great success.

2 . a clever plan, especially to do something that is bad or illegal – used in order to show disapproval:

a get-rich-quick scheme

scheme to do something

a scheme to pass false cheques

3 . a system that you use to organize information, ideas etc ⇨ schematic :

a classification scheme

4 . in the scheme of things in the way things generally happen, or are organized:

the unimportance of man in the whole scheme of things

⇨ ↑ colour scheme

• • •



▪ a major scheme

The government is introducing a major housebuilding scheme in the area.

▪ a new scheme

The new scheme aims to reduce street crime by 30%.

▪ an innovative scheme (=using new ideas)

an innovative scheme to help the unemployed get back to work

▪ a grand scheme (=trying to achieve a lot)

In the end, the government’s grand scheme came to nothing.

▪ a pilot scheme (=one that is tried on a small scale first to see if it is a good idea)

The programme was introduced into 100 primary schools in a very successful pilot scheme.

▪ a training scheme

The company runs an apprentice training scheme.

▪ a pension scheme

Does your employer offer a pension scheme?

▪ a compensation/bonus etc scheme (=in which people receive compensation, a bonus etc)

a new compensation scheme for accident victims

▪ an incentive scheme (=in which people receive money to persuade them to work harder)

There is a generous incentive scheme for the sales force.

■ verbs

▪ introduce/launch a scheme

The scheme was launched last autumn by the company’s education officer.

▪ run/operate a scheme

Parent volunteers help run the scheme.

▪ be covered by a scheme (=be able to benefit from a scheme)

All employees are covered by the new bonus scheme.

• • •


▪ plan a set of actions for achieving something in the future, especially a set of actions that has been considered carefully and in detail:

Leaders outlined a plan to end the fighting.

▪ plot/conspiracy a secret plan to do something bad or illegal, made by a group of people:

There was a plot to assassinate the President.


a terrorist conspiracy

▪ scheme British English an official plan that is intended to help people:

The government has introduced a new scheme to help young people find work.

▪ strategy a carefully designed plan which is intended to achieve a particular purpose over a long period of time:

the company’s business strategy


The government’s economic strategy has been criticized by many experts.


We need to develop effective strategies for combating the sale of counterfeit goods.

▪ initiative a new plan for dealing with a particular problem or for achieving a particular aim:

a peace initiative


a major new initiative to tackle street crime

▪ policy a plan that members of a government, political party, company etc agree on, that states how they intend to deal with a particular subject or problem:

the government’s immigration policy


It’s company policy to allow people to work from home.

▪ programme British English , program American English a series of activities that a government or organization organizes, which aims to achieve something important and will continue for a long time:

a five-year programme which will create 2000 new jobs


federal programs for low-income housing

II. scheme 2 AC BrE AmE verb [intransitive]

to secretly make clever and dishonest plans to get or achieve something SYN plot

scheme to do something

She schemed to kill him with poison.

scheme against

He became aware that people were scheming against him and called an emergency meeting.

She’s nothing but a lying, scheming little monster!

—schemer noun [countable]

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.