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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from design

Verb

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

Synonyms for design

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Architect Kengo Kuma, also responsible for the New National Stadium built for Tokyo’s 2020 Olympics, helped design the all-ocean-view-room property. Ramsey Qubein, Forbes, 6 June 2021 After receiving a Fulbright to study art in New York City, Peter Masters worked for the government on antipoverty programs and helped design the groundbreaking Profiles of Poverty exhibition at the Smithsonian. Leah Garrett, CNN, 30 May 2021 Another, Tim Stiefler, helped design a SayItNow.life website. Diane Bell Columnist, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 May 2021 One of their American customers, Carter Bolick, helped design their new locations. Adrian Spinelli, San Francisco Chronicle, 27 May 2021 Chen, an epidemiologist and former health minister, helped to design and lead Taiwan’s COVID-19 control measures. Michael Zennie, Time, 21 May 2021 Explore local history: The Lakewood Historical Society has helped design several Historical Walking Tours around the city. Carol Kovach, cleveland, 18 May 2021 The shipping giant has helped design a delivery van that affords greater visibility for drivers than a traditional truck and is easy to load and unload. Neal E. Boudette New York Times, Star Tribune, 25 Apr. 2021 The shipping giant has helped design a delivery van that affords greater visibility for drivers than a traditional truck and is easy to load and unload. New York Times, 21 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Barnbrook cites record cover artwork as an early design influence, perhaps drawing him to a vocation in graphic design. Nancy Olson, Forbes, 12 June 2021 Evolving public health challenges and recommendations also affected all aspects of clinical trial design and implementation. John Tsai, STAT, 12 June 2021 In a statement, the brand acknowledges Kusama as a modern-day grande dame and an iconic name in both the design and art worlds. Demetrius Simms, Robb Report, 11 June 2021 Innovations in marine diesel and gas turbine engine design and treatment of exhaust gas have lowered harmful emissions. Jing Sun, The Conversation, 11 June 2021 Justin Warshaw is the creative director and CEO of the global Justin Alexander Group, a bridal design and manufacturing house with five core brands and more under licensing and white-labeling arrangements. Leanne Italie, The Christian Science Monitor, 11 June 2021 The two San Antonio Latinas were elected Wednesday by vote of the six-member management committee, which will oversee the makeover of Alamo Plaza and the final design and fundraising for an Alamo museum and visitor center. Elizabeth Zavala, San Antonio Express-News, 10 June 2021 Vanessa wants to live downtown and have a career in fashion design. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, 10 June 2021 In contrast, the two new commercial spacecraft are simpler in design and operation, according to Doug Hurley, a NASA astronaut who piloted the first Crew Dragon spacecraft to the ISS in May, 2020, along with colleague Bob Behnken. Eric Niiler, Wired, 10 June 2021

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about design

Time Traveler for design

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Statistics for design

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Design.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/design. Accessed 15 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Dog Breeds

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!