Definition of Ponzi scheme noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Ponzi scheme

BrE BrE//ˈpɒnzi skiːm//
; NAmE NAmE//ˈpɑːnzi skiːm//
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a plan for making money that involves encouraging people to invest by offering them a high rate of interest and using their money to pay earlier investors. When there are not enough new investors, people who have recently invested lose their money. From Charles Ponzi, who organized the first scheme of this kind in the US in 1919.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: Ponzi scheme