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)
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 60d 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.