design

verb
de·​sign | \ di-ˈzīn \
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 \ 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

The classrooms are overcrowded; students sit four or five across at desks designed for three. Sarah Butrymowicz, Marie Claire, "Refugee Girls Want to Change the World. Will We Let Them?," 7 Jan. 2019 But if—or when—Uncle Sam cuts exploration funds, the private companies who created the hardware will still be in the race, using the moon equipment originally designed for NASA. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America Is About to Take Back Human Spaceflight, and It's a Lot More Than Just Flag-Waving," 4 Jan. 2019 The clothes themselves were witty complements to the proceedings: flirty, nautically inspired tweed suits and Capri pants that seemed designed for a stroll past the surf, perhaps drenched in saltwater, or jewels. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Chanel Sets Sail for New York City," 15 Nov. 2018 When Sabrina Albanese was enlisted to design a family vacation home on southern Ontario’s Lake Simcoe, her clients' requests were simple: comfortable, colorful and creative. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "A Vivacious Canadian Lake House With a Joyful Sense of Irreverence," 24 Dec. 2018 Lucky for us, West Elm knows how to design seasonally on-point, festive decor that's also chic. Hadley Mendelsohn, House Beautiful, "PSA: West Elm Is Having a Major Holiday Decor Sale," 18 Dec. 2018 An Amazon official said the company has not yet begun to design its buildings and will address infrastructure needs during the environmental review process. Winnie Hu, The Seattle Times, "What happens when 25,000 Amazon workers flush toilets?," 11 Dec. 2018 Grimshaw Architects, which has a large portfolio of airport design work—including terminals in Istanbul and Melbourne, Australia—has been selected to design the edifice, but details are still scant. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "New York's Airports Are Getting Billion-Dollar Makeovers—But What Will They Actually Change?," 21 Nov. 2018 As not answering his stack of correspondence appeared impolite, the London socialite decided to speed up the task by enlisting his friend, artist J.C. Horsley, to design a festive card with a fill-in-the-blank salutation in 1843. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Your Old Christmas Cards Might Be Worth Serious Money," 16 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

South Korea, which has built 10 of its reactors based on the same design, already produces nuclear power at or below fossil-fuel prices. Joshua S. Goldstein And, WSJ, "Only Nuclear Energy Can Save the Planet," 11 Jan. 2019 Take a look at Hardeman’s cheeky website, which is made to resemble a raunchy Craigslist web page, to see more of Dutch designer Sophie Hardeman’s unconventional designs, and watch the clip below for some dressing ideas. Rachel Hahn, Vogue, "Watch Troye Sivan Romp Around in His Breezy New Music Video," 10 Jan. 2019 After years of radical invention, aerospace design, political feuding, and faith in ingenuity—and eight years since the shuttle retirement—the United States is on the cusp of recapturing the ability to reach space from U.S. soil. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "America Is About to Take Back Human Spaceflight, and It's a Lot More Than Just Flag-Waving," 4 Jan. 2019 Lagerfeld has always been obsessed with design, and over the years he's become infatuated with certain periods and styles, only to then abandon them unceremoniously. Erik Maza, Town & Country, "Karl Lagerfeld Turns Interior Designer With a New Miami Masterpiece," 3 Jan. 2019 That, too, is expected to cost between $5 and $10 billion, according to Musk (who also keeps changing the vehicle’s design along with the name). Loren Grush, The Verge, "The Verge 2018 tech report card: SpaceX," 29 Dec. 2018 The smiley design seems to be inspired by the infamous hotel slippers Justin’s always wearing. Tamara Fuentes, Seventeen, "Hailey Baldwin Showed Off Justin Bieber's New Clothing Line – Here's Where You Can Buy It," 26 Dec. 2018 Talbot & Yoon Blobby design can be something of a Rorschach test. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Some people feel a tenderness toward bulbous candles and planters. Why?," 21 Dec. 2018 Properties are chosen based on a strict checklist of criteria, such as safety, location and design. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "This Airbnb Exclusively for Families is Genius," 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

15 Jan 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 \
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 \

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

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