Meaning of SCHEME in English

I. ˈskēm noun

( -s )

Etymology: Latin schemat-, schema shape, figure, manner, figure of speech, from Greek schēmat-, schēma; akin to Old English sige victory, Old High German sigu, Old Norse sigr, Gothic sigis victory, Greek echein, schein to have, hold, Sanskrit sahas strength, victory

1. obsolete

a. : figure of speech

b. : form , semblance

c. : pomp , show


a. archaic : a mathematical or astronomical diagram ; sometimes : a representation of the astrological aspects of the planets at a particular time

b. : a graphic sketch, design, or outline : a delineated plan

sketched a small scheme of the watershed

c. : a diagram or table showing metrical structure or rhyme arrangement (as of a stanza)



(1) : a concise statement in an outline, table, or list : epitome

(2) : a preparatory outline or draft

b. : a plan reduced to a precise and definite often tabulated form ; also : a tabulation of a plan or set of directions

4. : a plan or program of something to be done : a planned undertaking

a business scheme

a new scheme for rural electrification


a. : a crafty or unethical project

a scheme to get control of the government

schemes to evade taxes

b. : a visionary project

a head full of schemes and wild ideas

c. : a combination of elements (as thoughts, theories, considerations) that are connected, adjusted, and integrated by design : a systematic plan : system

worked out a new scheme of philosophical interpretations

wholly changed his scheme of life

d. : a planned and often mildly mischievous diversion : lark , escapade

e. chiefly Britain : a governmental or official plan or project

a contributory pension scheme

also : the product of such a scheme

obtained their irrigation water from the new scheme

5. : a complexity (as in nature or social institutions) that suggests or reveals systematic design

attain their rightful place in the scheme of things — S.L.A.Marshall

Synonyms: see plan , system

II. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to devise or contrive a scheme for : accomplish by clever contriving : design , project , plot

scheming an escape

— often used with out

schemed out a plot against the king

2. : to confine within the arbitrary bounds of a system or formula ; also : to employ in or under a scheme

intransitive verb

: to form plans or designs : devise intrigue

Synonyms: see plan I

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