1. An orderly or step-by-step conception or proposal for accomplishing an objective: a plan for improving math instruction.
2. A proposed or intended course of action: had no plans for the evening.
3. A systematic arrangement of elements or important parts; a configuration or outline: a seating plan; the plan of a story.
4. A drawing or diagram made to scale showing the structure or arrangement of something.
5. In perspective rendering, one of several imaginary planes perpendicular to the line of vision between the viewer and the object being depicted.
6. A program or policy stipulating a service or benefit: a pension plan.
v. planned, plan·ning, plans
1. To formulate a scheme or program for the accomplishment, enactment, or attainment of: plan a campaign.
2. To have as a specific aim or purpose; intend: They plan to buy a house.
3. To draw or make a graphic representation of.
To make plans.
[French, alteration (influenced by plan, flat surface) of plant, ground plan, map, from planter, to plant, from Latin plantāre, from planta, sole of the foot; see plat- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
Synonyms: plan, blueprint, design, project, scheme, strategy
These nouns denote a method or program in accordance with which something is to be done or accomplished: an ambitious plan for achieving energy independence; a blueprint for reorganizing the company; a design for ending the conflict; a project for urban renewal; a grand scheme aimed at ending illiteracy; a strategy for economic recovery.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.