Definition of scheming in English:



  • Given to or involved in making secret and underhand plans.

    ‘they had mean, scheming little minds’
    • ‘Their own scheming behavior was equally if not more reprehensible.’
    • ‘His scheming boss and mob underling, Sykes, demands that Oscar pay up the clams he has borrowed during his get-rich-quick schemes.’
    • ‘She was planning, or rather scheming, in her children's lives.’
    • ‘In fact, it seems that the only people privy to the scheming duplicity of most of the contestants are the camera operators.’
    • ‘She isn't a scheming adulteress - she's too naive, too hopeful.’
    • ‘The game is designed to be fun to play and a lighthearted approach to being a evil scheming megalomaniac, so although there are many different ways of being evil, there is no slavery or genocide.’
    • ‘They comply, but the scheming Lane has other plans.’
    • ‘As a result of their scheming ways, the dastardly duo are clearly making enemies outside the house.’
    • ‘In doing so, he must also outwit Francesca's scheming mother as well as her overweight fiancé, while schooling another admirer in the ways of love.’
    • ‘Alas, it is becoming as tiresomely cliched as all the others, with its share of scheming women.’
    • ‘The play bounces from scheming romance to high-camp comedy, leaving the audience torn between giggling and nail-biting over this complicated love hexagon.’
    • ‘When my friend told me about this aspect of the pre-interview my scheming humorist mind awakened like a sleeping giant.’
    • ‘She had black glittering, scheming eyes and was very blunt.’
    • ‘It's not everyday you see the grand thespian as a scheming womanizer who will stop short at nothing, save ‘a bit of crackling,’ to revive his stagnant career.’
    • ‘Like the French Resistance, they're not taking it lying down, as they fight back with every scheming trick at their disposal.’
    • ‘Even with all her superstar diva qualities, she's too lightweight, too soft to portray a scheming seductress.’
    • ‘These are the people who make up the country, in his eyes, not the scheming gentry and generals who composed bourgeois nationalist parties.’
    • ‘A scheming killer, this creature would play with its toys until they expired, and enjoy every minute of it if they did not make each move with great care.’
    • ‘I was kidding myself; why would a sweet girl like Andrea want to be with a rebellious, scheming character like me?’
    • ‘She will be the death us all if we do not beware of her scheming ways.’
    cunning, crafty, calculating, devious, designing, conniving, wily, sly, tricky, artful, guileful, slippery, slick
    manipulative, machiavellian, unscrupulous, disingenuous
    duplicitous, deceitful, janus-faced, underhand, treacherous
    View synonyms


  • [mass noun] The activity or practice of making secret and underhand plans.

    ‘his own colleagues accused him of scheming’
    • ‘It's a glimpse into the golden age of kings, a lost world of luxury, political scheming, extravagance and hedonism.’
    • ‘It's a talent that I've honed over my many years of scheming.’
    • ‘He raised his price by leading an army paid for by Venice to victory over the French at Fornovo in June 1495, but his inveterate scheming led to imprisonment by Venice in 1509.’
    • ‘Their scheming ultimately led to Coriolanus' banishment from Rome.’
    • ‘This grandiose scheming is intercut with real news archive from the time, which shows the reverse - the siege descending into farce and defeat.’
    • ‘They must have learnt from the landlord that I had my ear to their window when he had arrived, and it is most likely that they, the devil priest in particular, would have recognised me from the tavern where I had first overheard their scheming.’
    • ‘They weren't like Zach's eyes, that often gleamed from greed or scheming, but Mitch's eyes were like a child's on Christmas morning, full of innocence.’
    • ‘The dire need for money is a constant concern for Lucy in the I Love Lucy plot lexicon, and this is one of the better examples of scheming gone sour.’
    • ‘Alison of course was doing some very careful scheming since Carleen's birthday was approaching rapidly.’
    • ‘Its rigid structures and processes and predictable ways might stymie his unethical scheming.’
    • ‘Those who assumed that somebody so ‘uncultured’ and naive was incapable of scheming found out their mistake too late.’
    • ‘Trapped by political scheming, he was left with little choice but to accept the military assignment.’
    • ‘And their scheming couldn't have been done at a better time.’
    • ‘The final outcome of his scheming, however, remains unknown because of the loss of the story's last six chapters.’
    • ‘The antagonistic forces that fight with each other can't remain unscathed from their experiences since their scheming is bound to cause a deep change in the balance that both initially had.’
    • ‘He doubted she would be there, considering they were practically done with their scheming, but he was willing to hope for anything.’
    • ‘With plenty of delightful romantic scheming from Dolly, this play is looking forward to a successful run.’
    • ‘Members of the jury, we have given you overwhelming evidence leading up to the day of the plot; his plans; his actions; his plotting; his scheming.’
    • ‘However, her scheming ultimately leads to catastrophe.’
    • ‘Little did Thomas know that all his scheming would be moot in just a few hours.’