Do you have an idea of what you want and have thought carefully and in detail about how to get it? Then you have a plan, a series of actions required to achieve a particular goal.

A plan can exist only in your head, or it can be a physical object, such as an architectural plan of a building, showing how you propose to build it. As a verb, plan means the act of thinking about how to achieve your aims. You might plan to apply to colleges soon. When you plan something, you're laying the seeds for a future result, so it's not surprising that plan comes from the early English word plante, meaning "seedling."

Primary Meanings of plan

a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished
have the will and intention to carry out some action
an arrangement scheme
make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form
Full Definitions of plan

n a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished

“they drew up a six-step plan
“they discussed plans for a new bond issue”
program, programme
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audit program, audit programme
a listing of audit procedures to be performed in completing an audit
outline, schema, scheme
a schematic or preliminary plan
master plan
a long-term outline of a project or government function
blueprint, design, pattern
something intended as a guide for making something else
plan of action
a plan for actively doing something
regime, regimen
(medicine) a systematic plan for therapy (often including diet)
project, projection
a planned undertaking
agenda, docket, schedule
a temporally organized plan for matters to be attended to
pension account, pension plan, retirement account, retirement plan, retirement program, retirement savings account, retirement savings plan
a plan for setting aside money to be spent after retirement
employee savings plan
a plan that allows employees to contribute to an investment pool managed the employer
guideline, road map
a detailed plan or explanation to guide you in setting standards or determining a course of action
stock purchase plan
an organized plan for employees of a company to buy shares of its stock
a summary of intended expenditures along with proposals for how to meet them
a preset plan of action in team sports
a plan of action adopted by an individual or social group
battle plan
plan for conducting a battle
a procedure or process for obtaining an objective
maneuver, manoeuvre, tactic, tactics
a plan for attaining a particular goal
scheme, strategy
an elaborate and systematic plan of action
itinerary, travel plan
a proposed route of travel
cash cow, money-spinner, moneymaker
a project that generates a continuous flow of money
fare, menu
an agenda of things to do
401-k, 401-k plan
a retirement savings plan that is funded by employee contributions and (often) matching contributions from the employer; contributions are made from your salary before taxes and the funds grow tax-free until they are withdrawn, at which point they can be converted into an IRA; funds can be transferred if you change employers and you can (to some extent) manage the investments yourself
IRA, individual retirement account
a retirement plan that allows you to contribute a limited yearly sum toward your retirement; taxes on the interest earned in the account are deferred
Keogh plan
a tax-deferred pension plan for employees of unincorporated businesses or for self-employed persons
ESOP, employee stock ownership plan
a program under which employees regularly accumulate shares and may ultimately assume control of the company
balanced budget
a budget is balanced when current expenditures are equal to receipts
Type of:
idea, thought
the content of cognition; the main thing you are thinking about

v have the will and intention to carry out some action

“He plans to be in graduate school next year”
“The rebels had planned turmoil and confusion”
be after
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think out
consider carefully and rationally
aim, aspire, draw a bead on, shoot for
have an ambitious plan or a lofty goal
go for, hope
intend with some possibility of fulfilment
aim too high
Type of:
intend, mean, think
have in mind as a purpose

v make plans for something

“He is planning a trip with his family”
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plan for an activity or event
plan in detail
project, propose
present for consideration, examination, criticism, etc.
compose, draw up, frame
make up plans or basic details for
plan secretly, usually something illegal
devise a system or form a scheme for
designate, destine, intend, specify
design or destine
direct, engineer, mastermind, orchestrate, organise, organize
plan and direct (a complex undertaking)
lay out
provide a detailed plan or design
make a schedule; plan the time and place for events
assign a time for an activity or event
engage for a performance
enter into a calendar
assign a time slot
put forward for consideration
put before (a body)
cabal, complot, conjure, conspire, machinate
engage in plotting or enter into a conspiracy, swear together
make a plot in response to another plot
connive, intrigue, scheme
form intrigues (for) in an underhand manner
destine or designate for a certain purpose
plan something for a specific role or purpose or effect
designate or schedule
plan and oversee the development and details of
block out
plan where and when songs should be inserted into a theatrical production, or plan a theatrical production in general
lay out a full-scale working drawing of the lines of a vessel's hull
aim, calculate, direct
specifically design a product, event, or activity for a certain public
program, programme
arrange a program of or for
assign a new time and place for an event
Type of:
cerebrate, cogitate, think
use or exercise the mind or one's power of reason in order to make inferences, decisions, or arrive at a solution or judgments

v make or work out a plan for; devise

plan an attack”
contrive, design, project
devise the sequence of events in (a literary work or a play, movie, or ballet)
contrive (a plan) by mutual agreement
map, map out
plan, delineate, or arrange in detail
Type of:
create by mental act, create mentally
create mentally and abstractly rather than with one's hands

n an arrangement scheme

“a plan for seating guests”
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configuration, constellation
an arrangement of parts or elements
a plan or design of something that is laid out
snare, trap
something (often something deceptively attractive) that catches you unawares
hotel plan, meal plan
a plan and a room rate for providing a room and meals to guests at a hotel
(electronics) a system design that duplicates components to provide alternatives in case one component fails
network topology, topology
the configuration of a communication network
chunking, unitisation, unitization
(psychology) the configuration of smaller units of information into large coordinated units
iron trap
a trap from which there is no escape
speed trap
a trap arranged on a roadway for catching speeders
American plan
a hotel plan that includes three meals daily
Bermuda plan
a hotel plan that provides a full breakfast daily
European plan, continental plan
a hotel plan that provides a continental breakfast daily
Type of:
arrangement, organisation, organization, system
an organized structure for arranging or classifying

n scale drawing of a structure

“the plans for City Hall were on file”
architectural plan
drawing of an exterior of a structure
floor plan
scale drawing of a horizontal section through a building at a given level; contrasts with elevation
ground plan
a floor plan for the ground level of a building
Type of:
a representation of forms or objects on a surface by means of lines

v make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form

plan the new wing of the museum”
design as an engineer
design anew, make a new design for
blueprint, draft, draught
make a blueprint of
Type of:
create by mental act, create mentally
create mentally and abstractly rather than with one's hands

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