to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of: to design a new bridge.
to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully.
to intend for a definite purpose: a scholarship designed for foreign students.
to form or conceive in the mind; contrive; plan: The prisoner designed an intricate escape.
to assign in thought or intention; purpose: He designed to be a doctor.
Obsolete. to mark out, as by a sign; indicate.
to make drawings, preliminary sketches, or plans.
to plan and fashion the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc.
an outline, sketch, or plan, as of the form and structure of a work of art, an edifice, or a machine to be executed or constructed.
organization or structure of formal elements in a work of art; composition.
the combination of details or features of a picture, building, etc.; the pattern or motif of artistic work: the design on a bracelet.
the art of designing: a school of design.
a plan or project: a design for a new process.
a plot or intrigue, especially an underhand, deceitful, or treacherous one: His political rivals formulated a design to unseat him.
designs, a hostile or aggressive project or scheme having evil or selfish motives: He had designs on his partner's stock.
intention; purpose; end.
adaptation of means to a preconceived end.
- out·de·sign, verb (used with object)
- o·ver·de·sign, verb
- pre·de·sign, verb (used with object)
- re·de·sign, verb
- self-de·sign, noun
- un·der·de·sign, verb (used with object)
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use design in a sentence
This ruled notebook contains 100 sheets with wide ruled lines, and features the classic marble pattern design on its thick cover.
Apple’s smartwatch made some major leaps forward in design and functionality over the past two years, but the new Series 6 is more of a modest improvement this time around.Apple Watch Series 6 first impressions: A stretchy addition looks great | Aaron Pressman | September 17, 2020 | Fortune
They both employ a similar rangefinder design and comparable resolution.Sony built a tiny mirrorless camera with a full-frame sensor inside | Stan Horaczek | September 16, 2020 | Popular-Science
It comes with an odorless design and offers weights that range from 4 to 30 pounds.The best weighted vests for your next tough workout | PopSci Commerce Team | September 16, 2020 | Popular-Science
It was the design school whose legacy can be found in the gadgets we carry—Apple’s Steve Jobs and Jony Ive took clear inspiration—and some of the world’s most iconic buildings.Europe’s leaders want to create a ‘new Bauhaus’ as part of its Green Deal. But what does that even mean? | David Meyer | September 16, 2020 | Fortune
An F-35 was destroyed on takeoff earlier in the year when a design flaw in its Pratt & Whitney F135 engine sparked a fire.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019 | Dave Majumdar | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
But the F-35 has been plagued with massive delays and cost overruns—mostly due to design defects and software issues.New U.S. Stealth Jet Can’t Fire Its Gun Until 2019 | Dave Majumdar | December 31, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
In general, their presence is meant to throw you off your game by design.
Industry experts claim an increase in awareness amongst men when it comes to styles, design, and price regarding their underwear.Would You Pay $100 For a 50 Cent Bulge? Men’s Undies Get Expensive | James Joiner | December 23, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
The creative team behind the new My Lai project is working out the details for set design.
This was a vast building of classical design, resembling a Grecian temple.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
Besides this the old general meant it, when he had stated his design to provide a specially heavy pair of weapons.The Pit Town Coronet, Volume I (of 3) | Charles James Wills
This is often due to a law of nature rather than to imperfection of design or workmanship.The Recent Revolution in Organ Building | George Laing Miller
The Marshal's design, therefore, was to hold the enemy till the main French army arrived.Napoleon's Marshals | R. P. Dunn-Pattison
In length there was no alteration, but the design seems more condensed, more compact, yet slightly wider in the opening.Antonio Stradivari | Horace William Petherick
British Dictionary definitions for design
to work out the structure or form of (something), as by making a sketch, outline, pattern, or plans
to plan and make (something) artistically or skilfully
(tr) to form or conceive in the mind; invent
(tr) to intend, as for a specific purpose; plan
(tr) obsolete to mark out or designate
a plan, sketch, or preliminary drawing
the arrangement or pattern of elements or features of an artistic or decorative work: the design of the desk is Chippendale
a finished artistic or decorative creation
the art of designing
a plan, scheme, or project
an end aimed at or planned for; intention; purpose
(often plural; often foll by on or against) a plot or hostile scheme, often to gain possession of (something) by illegitimate means
a coherent or purposeful pattern, as opposed to chaos: God's design appears in nature
argument from design philosophy another name for teleological argument
- designable, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Other Idioms and Phrases with design
see by design; have designs on.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.