design

verb
de·​sign | \ di-ˈzīn How to pronounce design (audio) \
designed; designing; designs

Definition of design

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan : devise, contrive design a system for tracking inventory
2a : 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 a suitcase designed to hold a laptop computer
3 archaic : to indicate with a distinctive mark, sign, or name
4a : to make a drawing, pattern, or sketch of … a curious woman whose dresses always looked as if they had been designed in a rage …— Oscar Wilde
b : to draw the plans for design a building designing a new bike

intransitive verb

1 : to conceive or execute a plan
2 : to draw, lay out, or prepare a design was trained to design for homes and offices

design

noun

Definition of design (Entry 2 of 2)

1a : a particular purpose or intention 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 : a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down was never part of my design
3a : a deliberate undercover project or scheme : plot a declaration of a design upon his life— John Locke
b designs plural : aggressive or evil intent used with on or against he has designs on the money
4 : a preliminary sketch or outline showing the main features of something to be executed the design for the new stadium
5a : 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 (such as a scientific experiment) also : the process of preparing this
6 : the arrangement of elements or details in a product or work of art … his sense of structure, both in the general design of Paradise Lost and Samson, and in his syntax …— T. S. Eliot
7 : a decorative pattern a floral design
8 : the creative art of executing aesthetic or functional designs studied design in college

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Other Words from design

Verb

designedly \ -​ˈzī-​nəd-​lē How to pronounce designedly (audio) \ adverb

Synonyms for design

Synonyms: Verb

aim, allow [chiefly Southern & Midland], aspire, calculate, contemplate, go [chiefly Southern & Midland], intend, look, mean, meditate, plan, propose, purport, purpose

Synonyms: Noun

arrangement, blueprint, game, game plan, ground plan, master plan, plan, program, project, road map, scheme, strategy, system

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Choose the Right Synonym for design

Noun

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

Examples of design in a Sentence

Verb

A team of engineers designed the new engine. Who designed the book's cover? He designed the chair to adjust automatically. They thought they could design the perfect crime. design a strategy for battle

Noun

There are problems with the design of the airplane's landing gear. I like the design of the textbook. I love the sculpture's design. The machine had a flawed design. the design and development of new products Correcting mistakes is part of the design process. a number of design concepts
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

In an Instagram post, the designer revealed a sneak peek of a few handmade pillows she's designed with Loloi Rugs. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "Joanna Gaines Has a Pillow Collection in the Works, and I Want Them All," 4 Mar. 2019 Casseroles have a reputation for being kind of old-school, but they couldn't be better designed for our modern world. Audrey Bruno, SELF, "19 Make-Ahead Casseroles That Will Save You When It's Cold Out," 23 Jan. 2019 They were brilliantly designed by our props department. Jessica Radloff, Glamour, "This Is Us Will Reveal 'All the Answers' Next Week, So Get Ready," 15 Jan. 2019 It's designed that that's the only thing that's driving its value. Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Civil unrest: How a blockchain-based journalism startup bumbled its launch," 23 Dec. 2018 Your grandmother's vintage ceramic tree is probably nice, but this version is so much cooler—because it was designed by the pop legend herself. Jennifer Aldrich, Country Living, "Your Grandma's Ceramic Christmas Tree Just Got a Cyndi Lauper-Approved Upgrade," 20 Dec. 2018 They are also designed in a way to help Uber grow and scale its bike-share program. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Uber’s new Jump e-bikes are easier to charge and harder to vandalize," 18 Dec. 2018 Today, the Monegasque royal family opened One Monte Carlo, a new residential shopping centre designed by Pritzker Prize winner Sir Richard Rogers. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Monaco’s Royal Twins Are the Ultimate Red Carpet Professionals," 22 Feb. 2019 The building is one of three designed by Mr. Meier in the 2000s, overlooking the river. Katherine Clarke, WSJ, "New York Triplex Owned by Martha Stewart’s Daughter Lists for $53 Million," 21 Feb. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Yep, cult-favorite Urban Decay Cosmetics is adding to the Naked family with a brand new palette design. Kelsey Stiegman, Seventeen, "Urban Decay is Launching the Naked Reloaded Palette With Bigger Eyeshadow Pans," 13 Feb. 2019 For the floral design, the couple collaborated with Darroch and Michael of Putnam & Putnam. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "A Midsummer Night’s Dream: This Bride Wore Custom Giambattista Valli for Her Wedding in the Hamptons," 6 Feb. 2019 Google wasn't exactly wrong in its assessments, but SPDY was something of a unilateral act, with Google responsible for the design and functionality. Peter Bright, Ars Technica, "Google isn’t the company that we should have handed the Web over to," 17 Dec. 2018 While Chopra wore a show-stopping dress by Abu Jani Sandeep Khosla for her traditional Mehendi ceremony, Turner opted for a stunning Anita Dongre design. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner Wears a Sparkly Anita Dongre Lehenga to Priyanka Chopra & Nick Jonas' Wedding," 1 Dec. 2018 And because the clean and dirty water tanks are stacked (rather than side-by-side or front-to-back), the appliance has a slim design and low profile that’s easy to maneuver under furniture and to store. Sarah Bogdan, Good Housekeeping, "The Best Carpet Cleaners to Buy in 2019," 15 Jan. 2019 All in all, the Swift 7 (2019) is an intriguing combination of physical design and component upgrades, with the keyboard remaining as the only real question mark. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Acer's new Swift 7 ultra-thin PC is even smaller, but adds Thunderbolt, Amber Lake and a clickpad," 6 Jan. 2019 Out in early January, her designs seem to encompass a range of styes, including seriously comfy (and cute) athleisure. Tess Kornfeld, Glamour, "Gabrielle Union Just Clapped Back at a Troll Telling Her to 'Dress Her Age'," 29 Dec. 2018 Three political questions, in particular, will shape both the design and the viability of whatever Democrats come up with. Ezra Klein, Vox, "The 3 decisions that will shape Medicare-for-all," 17 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'design.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of design

Verb

14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 3

Noun

1565, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for design

Verb and Noun

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

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Learn More about design

Statistics for design

Last Updated

12 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for design

The first known use of design was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for design

design

verb

English Language Learners Definition of design

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: 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

design

noun

English Language Learners Definition of design (Entry 2 of 2)

: 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

design

verb
de·​sign | \ di-ˈzīn How to pronounce design (audio) \
designed; designing

Kids Definition of design

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to think up and plan out in the mind Our engineers have designed a new engine.
2 : to set apart for or have as a special purpose : intend The Web site is designed for fun.
3 : to make a pattern or sketch of She designs clothes.

design

noun

Kids Definition of design (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : an arrangement of parts in a structure or a work of art The design of the house suits a large family.
2 : the art or process of planning and creating something His job is Web page design.
3 : a sketch, model, or plan of something made or to be made Architects studied the design for the building.
4 : a decorative pattern
6 : a planned intention As if by design, they both stopped at the same spot …— Jerry Spinelli, Maniac Magee
7 : a secret purpose : plot I know you have designs on my money.

design

noun
de·​sign | \ di-ˈzīn How to pronounce design (audio) \

Medical Definition of design

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

Other Words from design

design transitive verb

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More from Merriam-Webster on design

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with design

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for design

Spanish Central: Translation of design

Nglish: Translation of design for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of design for Arabic Speakers

Comments on design

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