1. A combination of things connected and adjusted by design; a system. The appearance and outward scheme of things. (locke) Such a scheme of things as shall at once take in time and eternity. (Atterbury) Arguments . . . Sufficient to support and demonstrate a whole scheme of moral philosophy. (J. Edwards) The revolution came and changed his whole scheme of life. (Macaulay)
2. A plan or theory something to be done; a design; a project; as, to form a scheme. The stoical scheme of supplying our wants by lopping off our desires, is like cuttig off our feet when we want shoes. (swift)
3. Any lineal or mathematical diagram; an outline. To draw an exact scheme of Constantinople, or a map of France. (south)
4. (Science: astronomy) A representation of the aspects of the celestial bodies for any moment o at a given event. A blue case, from which was drawn a scheme of nativity. (Sir W. Scott)
Synonym: plan, project, contrivance, purpose, device, plot.
Scheme, plan. Scheme and plan are subordinate to design; they propose modes of carrying our designs into effect. Scheme is the least definite of the two, and lies more in speculation. A plan is drawn out into details with a view to being carried into effect. As schemes are speculative, they often prove visionary; hence the opprobrious use of the words schemer and scheming. Plans, being more practical, are more frequently carried into effect. ”He forms the well-co
ncerted scheme of mischief; ‘T is fixed, ‘t is done, and both are doomed to death. (Rowe) Artists and plans relieved my solemn hours; I founded palaces, and planted bowers.” (prior)
Origin: L. Schema a rhetorical figure, a shape, figure, manner, Gr, form, shape, outline, plan, fr, to have or hold, to hold out, sustain, check, stop; cf. Skr. Sah to be victorious, to endure, to hold out, AS. Sige victory, G. Sieg. Cf. Epoch, Hectic, School.