verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

to make drawings, preliminary sketches, or plans.
to plan and fashion the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc.


Origin of design

1350–1400; Middle English designen < Latin dēsignāre to mark out. See de-, sign
Related formsout·de·sign, verb (used with object)o·ver·de·sign, verbpre·de·sign, verb (used with object)re·de·sign, verbself-de·sign, nounun·der·de·sign, verb (used with object)

Synonym study

5. See intend. 13. See plan.




made or done intentionally; intended; planned.

Origin of designed

First recorded in 1580–90; design + -ed2
Related formsde·sign·ed·ness [dih-zahy-nid-nis] /dɪˈzaɪ nɪd nɪs/, nounnon·de·signed, adjectivepre·de·signed, adjectivewell-de·signed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for predesigned



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 workthe 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 chaosGod's design appears in nature
argument from design philosophy another name for teleological argument
Derived Formsdesignable, adjective

Word Origin for design

C16: from Latin dēsignāre to mark out, describe, from de- + signāre to mark, from signum a mark, sign
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

Word Origin and History for predesigned



1580s, from Middle French desseign "purpose, project, design," from Italian disegno, from disegnare "to mark out," from Latin designare "to mark out" (see design (v.)).



1540s, from Latin designare "mark out, devise, choose, designate, appoint," from de- "out" (see de-) + signare "to mark," from signum "a mark, sign" (see sign (n.)). Originally in English with the meaning now attached to designate; many modern uses of design are metaphoric extensions. Related: Designed; designing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with predesigned


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.