Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A diagrammatic representation; an outline or model.
  • n. Psychology A pattern imposed on complex reality or experience to assist in explaining it, mediate perception, or guide response.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An outline or image universally applicable to a general conception, under which it is likely to be presented to the mind.
  • n. A formal description of the structure of a database: the names of the tables, the names of the columns of each table, and the type and other attributes of each column. (And similarly for the descriptive information of other database-like structures, such as XML files.)
  • n. A formula in the language of an axiomatic system, in which one or more schematic variables appear, which stand for any term or subformula of the system, which may or may not be required to satisfy certain conditions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. An outline or image universally applicable to a general conception, under which it is likely to be presented to the mind.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A diagram, or graphical representation, of certain relations of a system of things, without any pretense to the correct representation of them in other respects; in the Kantian philosophy, a product of the imagination intermediate between an image and a concept. being intuitive, and so capable of being observed, like the former, and general or quasi-general, like the latter.
  • n. Scheme; plan; outline; formerly, a geometrical diagram.
  • n. In logic, a figure of syllogism.
  • n. In ancient Grammar and rhetoric, a figure; a peculiar construction or mode of expression.
  • n. In the Gr. Ch., the monastic habit: distinguished as little and great.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an internal representation of the world; an organization of concepts and actions that can be revised by new information about the world
  • n. a schematic or preliminary plan

Etymologies

Latin schēma, schēmat-, form; see scheme.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin schēma, from Ancient Greek σχῆμα (skhēma, "form, shape"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • = GreenOnBlack. schema #schema = BlackOnLightYellow. schema

    Linux Journal - The Original Magazine of the Linux Community

  • Using aGML application schema is clearly not a sufficient condition for interoperability, and only maybe is a necessary condition, but plenty of evidence that it helps. (lots more, but he talks faster than I can type … phew.) 15: 45: JohnLaxton, talking aboutGeoSciML v2: an interchange and mark-up language for geologic information.

    Liveblogging the EGU – day 4 | Serendipity

  • A schema is a way of thinking about or understanding the world, a “lens” or “window” through which one views reality.

    2008 September - Telic Thoughts

  • Now this representation of a general procedure of the imagination to present its image to a conception, I call the schema of this conception.

    The Critique of Pure Reason

  • We are told that it involves what he calls a schema, a “representation of a universal procedure of imagination in providing an image for a concept” (1781/1787

    His Name Was Do Re Mi

  • If I’m working in code, and I have a set of native data types in any language I need to send over the network to another piece of code, what XML schema is easier to use than JSON?

    Scripting News for 12/21/2006 « Scripting News Annex

  • This approach has been dubbed schema on read, since the data is interpreted at query (read) time, rather than when the data is loaded into the data store (schema on write).

    Asking Any Question Of All Your Data

  • The best known example of a schema is a stereotype.

    Sotomayor Hearings and the Truth About Bias

  • Owen Ambur, former senior architect at the Interior Department, and Adam Schwartz, a program analyst in the Program Management Office at the Government Printing Office, oversaw development of that schema, which is designed to encapsulate strategic plans, performance plans and performance reports in a format based on Extensible Markup Language, the association said last week.

    Archive 2008-01-01

  • In fact, every instance of a schema is a string type having its own tokens.

    Schema

Wordnik is becoming a not-for-profit! Read our announcement here.

Comments

Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.

  • In spite of myself recent events had rebooted the defense systems, dusted down the schema of combat. From "The Last Werewolf" by Glen Duncan.

    March 3, 2012

  • I never heard this word befor I read it in The Readers Handbook.

    October 1, 2010

  • The Readers Handbook for Advanced Reading. Catherine H. Stephens. pg.9.

    September 22, 2010

  • See: Tonsure, Rassophore, Stavrophore & Eskiem.

    January 30, 2009

  • Indeed! Bravo to both of y'ins. :-)

    September 22, 2007

  • Hey, that's a great analogy! :-)

    September 21, 2007

  • Right on. Well said. Open-mindedness is the ability and willingness to treat one's collected schemata as a lego set rather than a monolith.

    September 21, 2007

  • A mental framework used to understand the world. We formulate schemata for every new situation we encounter, and store them away in our minds for recall when similar situations occur in the future. A person's collection of schemata is usually congruous with itself, resulting in a gestalt perception of the world that is logical and harmonious.

    Occasionally a person will encounter a crisis, or circumstance that markedly contradicts his or her existing framework, leading to a difficult period of schemata reevaluation/redefinition. This process, known as cognitive dissonance, can be painful to go through. It usually involves intense questioning of one's faith or values, lingering self-doubt, and a disconcerting sense of fear (as if the world known to that person has suddenly ended). In some cases, the process may never be fully resolved, often resulting in social withdrawal, depression, or bitterness. In other cases, it serves as an impetus for positive change.

    Because of the difficulty of the process, our natural defense mechanism is to reject anything that might challenge our schemata. It is easier to remain "blissfully ignorant" than to tear down an existing worldview and build a new one from scratch. We do ourselves a great disservice by this, however, essentially refusing to grow! When we are presented with challenging ideas, we must take care to avoid logical fallacies as we evaluate them. Only with an open mind can we be honest to ourselves, and mature in our perception of the world.

    September 21, 2007