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(1)   Scale drawing of a structure
"The plans for City Hall were on file"
(2)   An arrangement scheme
"The awkward design of the keyboard made operation difficult"
"It was an excellent design for living"
"A plan for seating guests"
(3)   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"


(4)   Make plans for something
"He is planning a trip with his family"
(5)   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"
(6)   Make or work out a plan for; devise
"They contrived to murder their boss"
"Design a new sales strategy"
"Plan an attack"
(7)   Make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form
"Design a better mousetrap"
"Plan the new wing of the museum"



< < , a later form of the vernacular < ; see plain, plane.


  1. A drawing showing technical details of a building, machine, etc., with unwanted details omitted, and often using symbols rather than detailed drawing to represent doors, valves, etc.
    The plans for many important buildings were once publicly available.
  2. A set of intended actions, through which one expects to achieve a goal.
    He didn't really have a plan; he had a goal and a habit of control.
  3. A 2-dimensional drawing of a building as seen from above with obscuring or irrelevant details such as roof removed, or of a floor of a building, revealing the internal layout; as distinct from the elevation.
    Seen in plan, the building had numerous passageways not apparent to visitors.


  1. To design a building, machine, etc.
    The architect planned the builidng for the client.
  2. To create a plan for.
    They jointly planned the project in phases, with good detail for the first month.
  3. To intend.
    He planned to go, but work intervened.

Usage notes

  • This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive. See Appendix:English catenative verbs