Meaning of PLAN in English


I. ˈplan, -aa(ə)n noun

( -s )

Etymology: French, plane, foundation, ground plan, partly from Latin planum level ground, from planus level, flat; partly from planter to plant, fix in place, from Late Latin plantare — more at floor , plant

1. : a drawing or diagram drawn on a plane: as

a. : a top view of a machine

b. : a representation of a horizontal section of a building — see ground plan

c. : a large-scale map of a small area


a. : one of numerous planes conceived as perpendicular to the line of vision and interposed between the eye and pictured objects

b. : one of several possible planes in a relief sculpture raising certain figures in the design above the ground


a. : a method of achieving something : a way of carrying out a design : device

could not avoid suspecting that it was a plan to obtain freedom in the evenings — Arnold Bennett

b. : a method of doing something : porcedure, way

the usual plan is to bring with each course the implements considered correct for handling it — Agnes M. Miall

c. : a detailed and systematic formulation of a large-scale campaign or program of action

drew up a secret plan for the defense of the country

the plan called for the establishment of flexible four-year programs for the six basic industries — Current Biography

d. : a proposed undertaking or goal : aim , intention

had just entered college with the plan of studying medicine — J.C.Cozzens


a. : an orderly arrangement of parts in terms of an overall design or objective

the conventional plan of state universities throughout the country — American Guide Series: Minnesota

a plan of life so delightfully simple — J.W.Krutch

detailed to him the plan of a very moral and aristocratical novel she was preparing — T.L.Peacock

b. : a schematic table or program of related parts or items

drew up a plan study for himself

the plan of the graduation exercises

c. : a schedule or method of payment

an easy-payment plan

a pay-as-you-go plan


plan , design , plot , scheme , and project can mean, in common, a proposed method of doing or making something or of achieving an end. plan implies mental formulation of a method, order, or form or a graphic representation of one, sometimes applying to an already achieved order

her plan to try hitching rides in automobiles — Millen Brand

drew plans for factory and home sites — American Guide Series: Maryland

it imposes plan and meaning and order on its materials — W.V.O'Connor

design adds to plan the idea of intention in the disposition of individual parts, often suggesting definiteness of pattern or a degree of order or harmony achieved

a great man by accident rather than design — H.J.Laski

a complex moral and philosophical design that lay behind the surface reality — J.W.Aldridge

the design of constitutional governments — C.L.Jones

plot connotes a laying out in or analyzing into distinguishable, proportioned, and comprehensible sections with attention to the proper relation of parts, applying now chiefly to the fundamental design of action or narrative in a literary or dramatic work or to a clandestine plan contrived by a group as for political revolution or assassination

the fundamental elements of storytelling — suspense, pace, and clean-cut plot — Current Biography

a plot to overthrow the goverment

scheme in the sense of a plan, design, or order, especially one revealed by analysis, suggests system and careful choice or ordering of detail

the place of man in the scheme of things — E.D.Adrian

the strong and the weak places in the general scheme of transportation by rail — O.S.Nock

the rapid development of pension schemes — G.O.May

the long-term schemes for building up India's economy — Collier's Year Book

In more recently current use, it can apply to a plan motivated by craftiness or self-seeking

a scheme to undermine public confidence in the administration

a scheme to take over the control of a labor union

project in current use is a neutral word designating any plan or prospective or actual undertaking or enterprise, often of considerable size

his pet project of forming a citizens' committee

the project consists of 80 farmsteads, each having a modern five-room house, a barn, and a poultry shed — American Guide Series: Louisiana

a man of huge projects but small accomplishments

In the verbal uses of the terms, plan , plot , and project signify to form or contrive a plan, plot, or project as distinguished by the noun meanings

planning a dinner without taking into account the number of guests — M.R.Cohen

planned my life from the outset largely and spaciously — Havelock Ellis

a story thus plotted would choke on its own melodrama — Frederic Morton

arguing whether the right to plot revolution is un-American — S.W.Chapman

although his health was rapidly failing, he projected a new book — C.A.Dinsmore

a group of New Haven citizens that projected a railway between New Haven and Hartford and obtained a charter for it — G.S.Bryan

design signifies to formulate or achieve a design or intention

design a new gown

this book is designed to supply some of this information — R.M.Dawson

scheme confines itself almost exclusively to the formulation of a scheme in the more current sense distinguished above, a clandestine, usually self-seeking, planning or plotting

open-air daylight creatures like us … called to plot and scheme and hide against the frozen silliness of the world — Eden Phillpotts

scheming for a slice of official cake — S.H.Adams

scheming to overthrow the party in power

II. verb

( planned ; planned ; planning ; plans )

transitive verb

1. : to arrange the parts of : design

planned the new school for beauty as well as utility

planned the mural to blend with the architecture of the lobby

planned his program for the next semester

2. : to devise or project the realization or achievement of : prearrange the details of

planned and organized extensive home-missionary programs — S.G.Hefelbower

prepared to plan , instead of improvise, foreign policy — Time

3. : to set down the features of in a plan : represent by a plan

explored their houses, planned their cities — T.E.Lawrence

4. : to have in mind : intend

the many jewels she had accumulated and which she planned to leave them — R.B.Gehman

plans a movie of the salvage operations — Current Biography

— sometimes used with on

planned on seeing him later

5. : to devise procedures or regulations for in accordance with a comprehensive plan for achieving a given objective (as in economic development or scientific research)

planning a more balanced if less profitable economy with the resources available — David Mitrany

proposed a central authority to plan the state's future utilization of electric power on an overall basis — Current Biography

intransitive verb

1. : to make plans : devise , contrive , scheme

she must plan — plot if she must — Pearl Buck

2. : to set up economic or social controls or regulations

found planning necessary during the war

can be prepared to scrap the whole system of planning when the emergency passes — New Republic

Synonyms: see plan I

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.