Definition of plan in US English:

plan

nounPlural plans

  • 1A detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.

    ‘the UN peace plan’
    • ‘If the proposed plans go ahead there is a very real danger that the closure of this business will lead to the loss of this unique service.’
    • ‘The plan failed to achieve a simple majority of the Ankara parliament in a knife-edge vote on Saturday.’
    • ‘Why is it that theoretical plans and practical achievements in the Scottish health service are incapable of marrying up?’
    • ‘These are both goal-oriented symbols, which speak to us of making plans in order to achieve our desires.’
    • ‘The city council says the policy is no longer consistent with what it wants to achieve in its plan.’
    • ‘He said a consultancy will be awarded soon to look at existing system and formulate plans for fixing it.’
    • ‘According to a defence analyst here, he is close to achieving a plan already worked out when he was elected 10 months ago.’
    • ‘Lancashire County Council offered to help draw up detailed plans using their proposals.’
    • ‘Such reviews would establish if the plan is actually achieving its initial aims.’
    • ‘The plans will also include proposals for a tsunami warning system.’
    • ‘This will allow residents to look at detailed plans for the proposals and speak to council officers about how they will be implemented.’
    • ‘Members are also likely to call for more detailed plans of the other proposed measures, in readiness for public consultation.’
    • ‘The plan proposes to rehabilitate the sewer system in the area and to upgrade the infrastructure in and around the river.’
    • ‘A council spokesman said the proposal was part of plans to cut more than 2,000 surplus school places.’
    • ‘While on the university level the plans were achieved, not all the proposed schools were opened.’
    • ‘All three have said they proposed to approve the plans, subject to the Secretary of State's views.’
    • ‘Negotiations in both villages are to take place to see if those plans can be achieved.’
    • ‘There is a lot of extra cost if an application has to be heard under both an operative and a proposed plan at the same time.’
    • ‘There's a lot of concern about the way it's been waged, and the fact that there's no plan to achieve peace.’
    • ‘He said the only way of achieving the plan would be to identify areas where costs could be cut while ensuring care in areas of clinical necessity.’
    scheme, plan of action, idea, master plan, game plan, proposal, proposition, ploy, suggestion, project, programme, system, method, procedure, strategy, stratagem, formula, recipe, scenario, arrangement, schedule, agenda
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1with modifier A scheme for the regular payment of contributions toward a pension, savings account, or insurance policy.
      ‘a personal pension plan’
      • ‘The scheme, the first dental insurance plan on the Irish market, was launched at the end of May.’
      • ‘We have a declining birth rate and increased life expectancy, along with a marked reluctance to pay into a private pension plan.’
      • ‘Chinese companies do not have to pay for health insurance or fund pension plans.’
      • ‘An easy payment plan is available for those wishing to pay to monthly installments.’
      • ‘Of course, some labs are chosen simply because of health insurance plan mandates.’
      • ‘Today you are far more likely to have your own personal pension plan or ‘money purchase’ scheme at work.’
      • ‘For many years, I have been contributing to a pension plan which is mainly invested in shares.’
      • ‘Money purchase or defined contribution plans shift the risk of providing for old age on to the employees.’
      • ‘I am in the firm's defined contribution pension plan and contribute the maximum for my age.’
      • ‘Regular payment plans are available allowing you to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly.’
      • ‘They refuse to implement a pension plan or even pay the full cost of our health insurance.’
      • ‘He plans to gut social security and turn it from old age insurance to a pension plan.’
      • ‘Some universities use a private pension plan, so your contribution may vary.’
      • ‘Tax-efficient equity savings schemes and plans for private pension funds will soon become the norm for many countries.’
      • ‘An excuse many of us give for failing to save is that we plan to use our homes as our combined savings and pension plans.’
      • ‘Have you got into the habit of making regular contributions to savings or investment plans for your children?’
      • ‘People do not have to be taxpayers in order to have payments into a pension plan boosted by tax relief from the Inland Revenue.’
      • ‘In dollar terms, the change in contribution pension plan investment is staggering.’
      • ‘Grace is a teacher and has contributed to a pension plan since the year before the marriage.’
      • ‘I suggest you start contributing to a stakeholder pension plan alongside your firm's scheme.’
  • 2usually plansAn intention or decision about what one is going to do.

    ‘I have no plans to retire’
    • ‘She has no plans to retire and dismisses the idea that writers have conventional careers.’
    • ‘He said that there were no plans, intentions, desires, or need for any increases greater than inflation.’
    • ‘Each girl will be formally interviewed by four judges about their interests and future plans before a decision is made.’
    • ‘It is understood that RTE has no plans to challenge the decision or to support any legal challenge by staff.’
    • ‘Ellen has no plans to retire and hopes to be one of the happy band raising money to support Sue Ryder homes for many years to come.’
    • ‘He never took advice well, believing his own plans and decisions to be superior to any other.’
    • ‘By tradition, we want to start the year by sharing with you our plans and intentions for the future.’
    • ‘I see that Thabo will soon come to a decision on what his plans for the embattled Zuma are.’
    • ‘He also liked to change his plans or decisions without letting me know and then, if something happened, put all the blame for the situation on me.’
    • ‘She tends to live in the present, without any plans, ambitions or goals.’
    • ‘He told him he had no plans to appeal the decision.’
    • ‘Although this expat will celebrate his 60th birthday this year, he has no plans to retire any time soon.’
    • ‘At Dorcan School, the headteacher announced his plans to retire at the end of the summer term.’
    • ‘The mayor said that no plans or final decision had yet been made.’
    • ‘He said the three countries have no plans to make any decision on their nuclear arms program.’
    • ‘As version upgrades can easily take 12 months, customers will soon have to make a decision about their future plans.’
    • ‘Elderly residents at two closure-threatened care homes are to get their say in the plans before any final decisions are made.’
    • ‘Although he has no plans to retire in the immediate future, he is looking forward to running the place in due course.’
    • ‘But shortly after conceding defeat, a disheartened Landry announced plans to retire from politics.’
    • ‘He said he had no idea what he would be working on next but denied he had any plans to retire, despite the fact he is not a huge fan of being in front of the camera.’
    intention, aim, idea, intent, objective, object, goal, target, hope, aspiration, ambition
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  • 3A detailed map or diagram.

    ‘a street plan’
    • ‘Over 170 Hilperton residents went to an open day in the village last month to look at plans proposed by the developer.’
    • ‘The plans should incorporate street furniture, paving, lighting and trees.’
    • ‘The basic L-shaped plan wraps around a patio courtyard in the internal corner of the site.’
    • ‘Vestiges of a street plan can sometimes be seen on ploughed land north-east of the amphitheatre.’
    • ‘I am especially grateful to my daughter for her assistance in preparing the maps and plans.’
    • ‘The plan also includes building stops along the way in hopes of expanding in the future.’
    • ‘The point of education is not to give pupils a street plan of their local district but a putative map of the world.’
    • ‘The yellow colouring on the enclosed plan indicated the area from Furnham Road to AA.’
    • ‘Oxford residents have expressed their anger at development plans on St Giles Street and at Keble College.’
    • ‘In this plan, two pagodas were built in front of one Main Hall in the main courtyard.’
    • ‘All of his six or so novels have a map as frontispiece from which one can see that much of the street plan has survived.’
    • ‘The underlying street plans of towns like Otley were laid down centuries before motor vehicles were invented.’
    1. 3.1 A drawing or diagram made by projection on a horizontal plane, especially one showing the layout of a building or one floor of a building.
      Compare with elevation (sense 3)
      • ‘In 1962, the local authority had approved building plans under local by-laws.’
      • ‘Members of the public will be able to track their building plans on the Internet from February 2004.’
      • ‘Interestingly the original plans show the buildings supported and made level by brick piles grounded in the sloping valley side.’
      • ‘It is also difficult to predict, given the limited quantity and quality of data on building plans.’
      • ‘With a key plan, the floor surface profile along those lines becomes useful information.’
      • ‘Lancaster City Council has deemed the plans for the proposed multi-million pound structure invalid.’
      • ‘Since work of this type is governed by local codes, check your plans with the building department.’
      • ‘While drawing up plans for city centre buildings, he often helped children with their school design projects.’
      • ‘One of the papers just published a plan of the layout of the house.’
      • ‘At that time, the municipality already approved the plans for the first building.’
      • ‘It is a walk-in information Office to allow viewing of the plans for the proposed tourism resort.’
      • ‘He is scheduled to release a detailed blueprint of his plans by mid-September.’
      • ‘Before them lay a ladder down into a musty basement that was obviously not listed on the building plans.’
      • ‘Reading the plans of the building again, she made sure she knew every way out of the building.’
      • ‘Oral and written instructions are supplemented by plans, drawings or blueprints.’
      • ‘Kenneth handed him the plans and explained the layout and security he'd found.’
      • ‘As far as I knew, the original building plans had disappeared a long time ago.’
      • ‘Very few building plans are at a scale where internal arrangement can be properly read.’
      • ‘As per law, it is either the BMRDA or the BDA which have powers to approve the layouts and building plans.’
      • ‘An itemized asset list is created and geographically located on building plans.’
      blueprint, drawing, scale drawing, diagram, sketch, chart, map, layout, artist's impression
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    2. 3.2 A diagram showing how something will be arranged.
      ‘look at the seating plan’
      • ‘All residents are urged to review their family flood plans and update their knowledge about flooding.’
      • ‘Directors instantly knew where they were in the pecking order by a quick look at the seating plan.’
      • ‘In addition to the price increases, Churchill Downs has changed seating plans on Oaks day.’
      • ‘I see she has the seating plan for the crematorium in her hand.’
      • ‘The seating plan for a national event is a good time to find out who's hot and who's not.’
      • ‘Tonight we're chilling after sorting out the seating plan and printing out the place cards for the wedding.’
      • ‘Know the seating plan and etiquette before boarding the company jet.’
      • ‘You can, in fact, check seating plans through airline websites - if you know how to find them.’
      • ‘Now, if there was a prize that allowed you to set the seating plan: that would be a prize worth winning.’
      • ‘Even the seating plan, though, underlines one important reason for voter apathy.’
      • ‘A good friend told me that his friend, who's a school teacher, drew up a seating plan last week for her pre-teen pupils.’
      • ‘The seating plan was drawn up using French, the traditional language of diplomacy.’
      • ‘Householders are also being advised to prepare an escape plan from home and smokers are being warned to take special care.’
      preparations, plans
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verbplans, planning, planned

[with object]
  • 1Decide on and arrange in advance.

    ‘they were planning a trip to Egypt’
    with infinitive ‘he plans to fly on Wednesday’
    no object ‘we plan on getting married in the near future’
    ‘we have to plan for the future’
    • ‘Kate plans to arrange monthly meetings with speakers and general support sessions.’
    • ‘The restaurant is quite a good size but due to popularity it is essential to book in advance if you plan on having dinner there.’
    • ‘The town council plans to make a decision by the end of the year.’
    • ‘The program plans to offer doctoral degree education within the next two to three years.’
    • ‘Even so, the family plans to appeal the decision so it can continue living in six caravans on the site, which it bought more than a year ago.’
    • ‘Intel plans to start building again next year, and to start operations in the third quarter of 2003.’
    • ‘Additionally, it is unclear how the company plans to finance the building of that site.’
    • ‘The key to a successful warehouse shopping experience is to plan your visit in advance.’
    • ‘The organisation plans to publish research on state childcare models in May.’
    • ‘Now he and his wife Laura are moving to a larger house nearby, and plan to start a programme of improvements as soon as they sell their current home.’
    • ‘There is a DJ booth and the manager plans to change the layout on the first floor to make space for a small dance floor.’
    • ‘After switch-over, the government plans to sell the spectrum previously used for analogue.’
    • ‘This is fantastic news if you plan on making a trip to the US this year.’
    • ‘A tenants and residents organisation plans to create new jobs and other opportunities.’
    • ‘There is a system of communication to enable partners to plan their play and decide when it is appropriate to bet.’
    • ‘Before you plan a trip, decide whether you'd rather try a wilderness lodge or a guest ranch.’
    • ‘He is now refurbishing the ground floor of the building and plans to open a late night bar and dance floor from Thursday to Saturday.’
    • ‘We therefore plan to check this possibility by putting an acetyl group on the N-terminus.’
    • ‘All too often this leads them to neglect the very important issue of planning their development in advance.’
    • ‘The trick is to plan each one in advance and do something original.’
    organize, arrange, work out, think out, design, line up, outline, sketch out, map out, chalk out, draft, prepare, schedule, programme, formulate, frame, project, develop, set up, fix up, shape, build, devise, concoct, contrive
    intend, make plans, aim, propose, mean, be resolved, have in mind, hope, want, wish, desire, contemplate, envisage, foresee, envision, expect
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  • 2Design or make a plan of (something to be made or built)

    ‘they were planning a garden’
    • ‘As you plan your water garden, consider the aquatic plants you may want to include in it.’
    • ‘It is not necessary to have only indigenous plants when planning a xeriscape design.’
    • ‘This view has invariably seduced architects when imaging and planning utopian cities.’
    • ‘A range of colours will be made known to the various groups involved when planning their designs.’
    • ‘You will not only plan a design scheme but you will also put it into practice.’
    • ‘Shortly after his arrival, he took over the project to design and plan the new Shenzhen University.’
    • ‘He was continuing to plan his garden during his final illness.’
    • ‘Color and time of bloom are two of the most important elements to consider when planning your bulb and garden planting.’
    • ‘We walked for miles here, thinking very thoroughly, talking, taking hundreds of photographs, planning the design.’
    • ‘When planning your garden, it is important to know what your climate zone is and choose your plants accordingly.’
    • ‘Start by planning the garden based on where you'll be happiest sitting.’
    • ‘I'm planning a couple of design changes to this blog, and rounded corners may well make an appearance in the new version.’
    • ‘Plan seed purchases for the fall garden when you are planning your spring garden.’
    • ‘The town has attracted high-tech businesses and is planning a technology zone for downtown.’
    • ‘Mary is a professional landscape designer and her talk will be on interest to anyone planning a new garden or rejuvenating an old one.’
    • ‘Introductory chapters include tips on planning a garden and how to create and care for the garden.’
    • ‘All you really need to learn about planning your garden is written on the package, or available from your bulb supplier.’
    • ‘This information should be considered when you plan your garden and when you buy the plants.’
    • ‘He was a gardener of note and relished planning the gardens of his acquaintances.’
    • ‘We're planning a memorial garden for archives and ashes for our friends and ourselves.’
    design, draw up a plan of, make a drawing of, draw up a layout of, sketch out, make a map of, map out, make a representation of
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Phrases

  • someone's (or the) best plan

    • A person's (or the) most sensible course of action.

      • ‘The Pakistan board wanted faster pitches for them but their best plan now would be to prepare turners.’
      • ‘Probably their best plan, however, is to ignore him and hope that no one will notice what he says.’
      • ‘But your best plan of action is to exercise self-control and do nothing.’
      • ‘If you're nearing retirement, you may be thinking that your best plan is to take up smoking, heavy drinking and motorcycle stunts.’
      • ‘After all, your time and resources are limited, so spending them wisely, even at the cost of other areas, is going to be your best plan.’
      • ‘I will leave you now to start to think on this and your best plan of action.’
      • ‘It was sunny, it was mild, and there was a delicious refreshing breeze just about all day, so it seemed our best plan would be to stay home and enjoy it.’
      • ‘But his best plan would be to go to a team down and out at the quarterback position - Chicago, Cincinatti and Carolina come to mind - and make his own mark where the expectations are far less.’
      • ‘The task force concluded that it's best plan of action is to have a ‘lean staffing model’ in which ‘excellence’ is placed ahead of volume and compensation is, thus, high.’
      • ‘I encourage you to explore all your options and talk to several different kinds of professionals to decide your best plan of action.’
  • go according to plan

    • Happen as one arranged or intended.

      • ‘Everything had been planned for and everything went according to plan.’
      • ‘The president and her family were on hand all day to make sure that everything went according to plan - even going as far as bringing umbrellas to some golfers who didn't like the rain!’
      • ‘This festive season, Sofia will be bathed in light if the decoration arrangements of the Sofia municipality go according to plan.’
      • ‘For the next few years things went according to plan, and then in the year 1854, passengers on the ship Blanche were found to be suffering from cholera.’
      • ‘An East Lancashire economic leader today said that, if things went according to plan, work on the site could start within 15 months and the course could be complete in 2008.’
      • ‘Security officials say everything went according to plan.’
      • ‘The first combination that set off brought down the telephone wires in Steeple Ashton but after that there was more room and it all went according to plan.’
      • ‘As a project manager, I know too well that when you operate in a tight time frame, no matter how much you plan, nothing goes according to plan.’
      • ‘‘After all these delays I was so pleased that I never worried, and everything went according to plan,’ he said.’
      • ‘But the married father-of-three, who has 22 years' experience, is confident that arrangements will go according to plan.’
  • plan of action (or campaign or attack)

    • An organized program of measures to be taken in order to achieve a goal.

      • ‘They have a common strategic aim but have no plan of action on the tactical level.’
      • ‘The document, however, failed to detail any environmental goals or plan of attack.’
      • ‘With respect to the forethought phase of self-regulation, the primary participants continued to set goals and devise plans of action for navigating their college-level courses.’
      • ‘We spoke further and I think I helped to get him to think more positively about himself, and I helped him to formulate some basic plans of action that he needs to pursue in order to get his life back on track.’
      • ‘He said that every company, regardless of what area it is in, should formulate a plan of action to deal with a crisis.’
      • ‘These five goals were discussed to determine a plan of action to achieve them.’
      • ‘We bring in a project manager with the expertise to assess the situation, formulate a plan of action, and get the project completed.’
      • ‘Once you find a likely partner, formulate a plan of attack that includes long- and short-term goals you'd both like to accomplish in the gym.’
      • ‘I am going to do some serious rethinking about my plan of attack regarding my diet and exercise program.’
      • ‘We are going to meet today to decide a plan of action but we will organise a date for a public meeting at the end of August.’
      scheme, plan of action, idea, master plan, game plan, proposal, proposition, ploy, suggestion, project, programme, system, method, procedure, strategy, stratagem, formula, recipe, scenario, arrangement, schedule, agenda
      View synonyms

Origin

Late 17th century: from French, from earlier plant ‘ground plan, plane surface’, influenced in sense by Italian pianta ‘plan of building’. Compare with plant.

Pronunciation

plan

/plan//plæn/