design

verb
de·sign | \ di-ˈzīn \

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

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

First released in 2009 by its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, bitcoin was designed to operate without any central authority that could block transactions or verify the identities of the people involved. BostonGlobe.com, "How Russian spies hid behind bitcoin in hacking campaign," 14 July 2018 Its trails are beautifully designed and marked, so almost everyone can easily experience it. Peter Marteka, courant.com, "10 Miles Of Trails Open 7 Days A Week, 52 Weeks A Year. Sherman's Deer Pond Farm Makes Its Debut," 13 July 2018 These clinics are designed for children to learn the fundamentals of the game, how to dribble the ball with their feet, good defense and offense and the value of teamwork in what is considered a nurturing and supportive environment. Sergio Carmona, Jewish Journal, "Soccer clinics at area JCC focus on skills, sportsmanship," 13 July 2018 An Amphibious Transport Dock, or LPD, is designed to operate with greater autonomy from an ARG and potentially conduct independent operations as needed. Kris Osborn, Fox News, "Navy pushes for more amphibious assault ships," 13 July 2018 The driver area is smartly designed as an intuitive command center with a tall 40 inches of front headroom. Mark Maynard, sandiegouniontribune.com, "2018 Kia Niro PHEV: The future of plug-and-play," 13 July 2018 They are designed to limit employers’ exposure to big damage awards while guaranteeing at least some help for a family after the loss of a breadwinner. Mike Hendricks, kansascity, "Firefighters protect us. Who protects them?," 13 July 2018 It was designed to protect patients by separating records related to addiction treatment from the rest of the medical record, allowing them to seek treatment for an addiction in private. Melissa Stein, STAT, "Privacy laws are hurting the care of patients with addiction," 13 July 2018 First released in 2009 by its mysterious creator, Satoshi Nakamoto, Bitcoin was designed to operate without any central authority that could block transactions or verify the identities of the people involved. New York Times, "How Russian Spies Hid Behind Bitcoin in Hacking Campaign," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The opportunity-zone program is open-ended by design, said Sen. Tim Scott (R., S.C.), one of its authors, who drew on his experience growing up in a struggling area. Richard Rubin, WSJ, "New Hotel or Affordable Housing? Race Is On to Define ‘Opportunity Zones’," 13 July 2018 Everything about the performance, including her flaming red outfit complete with a tribal henna tattoo design on her head, was a fitting tribute to Elliott and her signature style. Sam Tornow, Billboard, "Missy Elliott and Zedd Tweet Support For Stunning Covers of Their Songs on 'The Four'," 13 July 2018 Population suppression approaches are self-limiting by design — all mosquitoes carrying the genes are sterile or die. Anthony A. James, STAT, "Gene-drive technology must be developed in a safe, ethical way," 10 July 2018 By design, Skokie’s parade was smaller than last year, said parade leader Alan Gerstner. Pioneer Press, chicagotribune.com, "Niles 4th of July parade featured marching bands, bevvy of patriotic revelry," 9 July 2018 Producing just a square inch of a complex design can take about 10 hours, according to the Honiton Lace Shop. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why Prince Louis and Prince George Wore a Different Christening Gown Than Prince William," 9 July 2018 They are not distinguished in attacks on journalism; by design, they are exposed to their readers which, until last week, seemed a good thing to ensure authenticity. Alberto Ibargüen, star-telegram, "Support local news –it’s crucial to our lives and our democracy," 5 July 2018 While other cruise lines have become more international by design, the 26 ships of Carnival Cruise Line never have attempted to be anything else. David G. Molyneaux, miamiherald, "Carnival, that most American of cruise lines, won't return to Europe any time soon," 5 July 2018 Those phrases are radical, by design; their purpose is to galvanize activist energy – and expand the boundaries of political possibility – by articulating a vision of transformative change. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Ocasio-Cortez’s Socialism Can Work In The Midwest – With a Rebrand," 3 July 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

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

Noun

see design entry 1

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Learn More about design

Phrases Related to design

by design

have designs on

Statistics for design

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

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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Comments on design

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