Open main menu
See also: Scheme and schème



English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Medieval Latin schēma (figure, form), from Ancient Greek σχῆμα (skhêma, form, shape), from ἔχω (ékhō, I hold). Doublet of schema. Compare sketch.


  • IPA(key): /skiːm/
  • Rhymes: -iːm
  • (file)


scheme (plural schemes)

  1. A systematic plan of future action.
    • Jonathan Swift
      The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cutting off our feet when we want shoes.
    • 2013 June 1, “Ideas coming down the track”, in The Economist[1], volume 407, number 8838, page 13 (Technology Quarterly):
      A “moving platform” scheme [] is more technologically ambitious than maglev trains even though it relies on conventional rails. Local trains would use side-by-side rails to roll alongside intercity trains and allow passengers to switch trains by stepping through docking bays. This set-up solves several problems […].
  2. A plot or secret, devious plan.
  3. An orderly combination of related parts.
    • John Locke
      the appearance and outward scheme of things
    • Atterbury
      such a scheme of things as shall at once take in time and eternity
    • J. Edwards
      arguments [] sufficient to support and demonstrate a whole scheme of moral philosophy
    • Macaulay
      The Revolution came and changed his whole scheme of life.
  4. A chart or diagram of a system or object.
    • South
      to draw an exact scheme of Constantinople, or a map of France
  5. (mathematics) A type of topological space.
  6. (Britain, chiefly Scotland) A council housing estate.
    • 2008, James Kelman, Kieron Smith, Boy, Penguin 2009, p. 101:
      It was all too dear. They all just put their prices up because it was out in the scheme.
  7. (rhetoric) An artful deviation from the ordinary arrangement of words.
  8. (astrology) A representation of the aspects of the celestial bodies for any moment or at a given event.
    • Sir Walter Scott
      a blue case, from which was drawn a scheme of nativity
  9. (Internet) Part of a uniform resource identifier indicating the protocol or other purpose, such as http: or news:.
  10. (Britain, pensions) A portfolio of pension plans with related benefits comprising multiple independent members.

Usage notesEdit

In the US, generally has devious connotations, while in the UK, frequently used as a neutral term for projects: “The road is closed due to a pavement-widening scheme.”


  • (a systematic plan of future action): blueprint


The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.


scheme (third-person singular simple present schemes, present participle scheming, simple past and past participle schemed)

  1. (intransitive) To plot, or contrive a plan.
    • 2012 April 26, Tasha Robinson, “Film: Reviews: The Pirates! Band Of Misfits :”, in The Onion AV Club[2]:
      The openly ridiculous plot has The Pirate Captain (Hugh Grant) scheming to win the Pirate Of The Year competition, even though he’s a terrible pirate, far outclassed by rivals voiced by Jeremy Piven and Salma Hayek.
  2. (transitive) To plan; to contrive.
    • 1908, Bohemian Magazine (volume 15, page 381)
      He schemed a plot. He made use of the hotel's stationery to write a letter.








  1. (reflexive) to be ashamed
    Schemst-du dich net?
    Aren't you ashamed?

Further readingEdit

Middle Low GermanEdit


From Old Saxon skimo (shadow). Originally masculine.



scheme m or f

  1. A shadow, a shade; a darkness created by an object obstructing light
  2. A shadow, a shade; something which is barely perceptible or not physical
    ...lose se van der walt der dusternisse unde van deme scheme des dodes. (" them from the power of darkness and the shadow of death." )
  3. A shimmer; a soft or weak occurrence of light
  4. twilight; the lighting conditions at dusk and dawn
  5. A face mask
  6. aureola

Alternative formsEdit