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verb de·sign \di-ˈzīn\

Simple Definition of design

  • : to plan and make decisions about (something that is being built or created) : to create the plans, drawings, etc., that show how (something) will be made

  • : to plan and make (something) for a specific use or purpose

  • : to think of (something, such as a plan) : to plan (something) in your mind

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of design

  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan :  devise, contrive

  3. 2 a :  to conceive and plan out in the mind <he designed the perfect crime> b :  to have as a purpose :  intend <she designed to excel in her studies> c :  to devise for a specific function or end <a book designed primarily as a college textbook>

  4. 3 archaic :  to indicate with a distinctive mark, sign, or name

  5. 4 a :  to make a drawing, pattern, or sketch of b :  to draw the plans for <design a building>

  6. intransitive verb
  7. 1 :  to conceive or execute a plan

  8. 2 :  to draw, lay out, or prepare a design


play \-ˈzī-nəd-lē\ adverb

Examples of design in a sentence

  1. A team of engineers designed the new engine.

  2. Who designed the book's cover?

  3. He designed the chair to adjust automatically.

  4. They thought they could design the perfect crime.

  5. design a strategy for battle

Origin and Etymology of design

Middle English, to outline, indicate, mean, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French designer to designate, from Medieval Latin designare, from Latin, to mark out, from de- + signare to mark — more at sign

First Known Use: 14th century



noun de·sign

Simple Definition of design

  • : the way something has been made : the way the parts of something (such as a building, machine, book, etc.) are formed and arranged for a particular use, effect, etc.

  • : the process of planning how something will look, happen, be made, etc. : the process of designing something

  • : a drawing of something that is being planned or created

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of design

  1. 1 a :  a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group <he has ambitious designs for his son> b :  deliberate purposive planning <more by accident than design>

  2. 2 :  a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down

  3. 3 a :  a deliberate undercover project or scheme :  plot b plural :  aggressive or evil intent —used with on or against <he has designs on the money>

  4. 4 :  a preliminary sketch or outline showing the main features of something to be executed <the design for the new stadium>

  5. 5 a :  an underlying scheme that governs functioning, developing, or unfolding :  pattern, motif <the general design of the epic> b :  a plan or protocol for carrying out or accomplishing something (as a scientific experiment); also :  the process of preparing this

  6. 6 :  the arrangement of elements or details in a product or work of art

  7. 7 :  a decorative pattern <a floral design>

  8. 8 :  the creative art of executing aesthetic or functional designs

Examples of design in a sentence

  1. There are problems with the design of the airplane's landing gear.

  2. I like the design of the textbook.

  3. I love the sculpture's design.

  4. The machine had a flawed design.

  5. the design and development of new products

  6. Correcting mistakes is part of the design process.

  7. a number of design concepts


First Known Use of design


Synonym Discussion of design

intention, intent, purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal mean what one intends to accomplish or attain. intention implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about <announced his intention to marry>. intent suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness <the clear intent of the statute>. purpose suggests a more settled determination <being successful was her purpose in life>. design implies a more carefully calculated plan <the order of events came by accident, not design>. aim adds to these implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing <her aim was to raise film to an art form>. end stresses the intended effect of action often in distinction or contrast to the action or means as such <willing to use any means to achieve his end>. object may equal end but more often applies to a more individually determined wish or need <his constant object was the achievement of pleasure>. objective implies something tangible and immediately attainable <their objective is to seize the oil fields>. goal suggests something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship <worked years to reach her goals>.

plan, design, plot, scheme, project mean a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end. plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation <plans for a house>. design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony <a design for a new dress>. plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions <the plot of the play>. scheme stresses calculation of the end in view and may apply to a plan motivated by craftiness and self-interest <a scheme to defraud the government>. project often stresses imaginative scope and vision <a project to develop the waterfront>.

DESIGN Defined for Kids



verb de·sign \di-ˈzīn\

Definition of design for Students



  1. 1 :  to think up and plan out in the mind <Our engineers have designed a new engine.>

  2. 2 :  to set apart for or have as a special purpose :  intend <The Web site is designed for fun.>

  3. 3 :  to make a pattern or sketch of <She designs clothes.>



noun de·sign

Definition of design for Students

  1. 1 :  an arrangement of parts in a structure or a work of art <The design of the house suits a large family.>

  2. 2 :  the art or process of planning and creating something <His job is Web page design.>

  3. 3 :  a sketch, model, or plan of something made or to be made <Architects studied the design for the building.>

  4. 4 :  a decorative pattern

  5. 5 :  1plan 1, scheme

  6. 6 :  a planned intention <As if by design, they both stopped at the same spot … — Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee>

  7. 7 :  a secret purpose :  plot <I know you have designs on my money.>

Medical Dictionary


noun de·sign \di-ˈzīn\

Medical Definition of design

  1. :  a plan or protocol for carrying out or accomplishing something (especially a scientific experiment); also :  the process of preparing this


transitive verb

Seen and Heard

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of or relating to the heavens

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