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

Other Words from design

Verb

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

Synonyms for design

Synonyms: Verb

Synonyms: Noun

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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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb While helping a Los Angeles neighbor dig out from a mudslide in the late 1970s, Baxter learned the neighbor, George Webb, was a retired engineer who had helped design the Sidewinder missile for the U.S. Navy. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 31 July 2022 Known for her glamour, Ivana Trump created her own clothing line and helped design the interior for the Grand Hyatt Hotel and Trump Tower. Teddy Grant, ABC News, 20 July 2022 Pictures of the church make the case that Ponti should have been allowed to design the Denver Art Museum’s interiors as well. Los Angeles Times, 28 July 2022 Each year, the running apparel brand commissions local artists to design a unique product line with a limited run. Kassondra Cloos, Outside Online, 28 July 2022 Qualcomm supplies communications chips that go into iPhones, but Apple is working to design its own in-house chips. Asa Fitch, WSJ, 27 July 2022 Planners don’t have long to design the structure, either. Chris Morris, Fortune, 25 July 2022 Over 400 interns are participating in the challenge this year, competing to design a light show that best represents their company’s brand and culture. Claire Reid, Journal Sentinel, 25 July 2022 And to teach those lessons, Lego had to design a bunch of new parts. Sal Vaglica, Car and Driver, 23 July 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Ford has announced a new series of special-edition Broncos with many design cues reminiscent of the classic from 1966, the year of the SUV's original debut. Jack Fitzgerald, Car and Driver, 11 Aug. 2022 The Tower of the Americas was built with a massive design flaw. Eric Killelea, San Antonio Express-News, 11 Aug. 2022 His design studio confirmed that the pioneering designer had been battling liver cancer in recent months. Tim Chan, Rolling Stone, 11 Aug. 2022 According to Accetta, hundreds of female soldiers were surveyed to provide insight on the type of functionality and preferences the Design, Pattern and Prototype team at Devcom Soldier Center should consider during initial design. Janay Kingsberry, Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2022 Some headlines were too long to fit within the portraits’ design, so Addition programmed its platform to rewrite them in fewer than 50 characters, said a Times spokesman. Patrick Coffee, WSJ, 10 Aug. 2022 There is an accessible design to the whole exhibit. Christopher Arnott, Hartford Courant, 10 Aug. 2022 The design process took off with concept art from Michael Maher Jr., who serves as VFX supervisor (also Emmy-nominated). Daron James, Los Angeles Times, 10 Aug. 2022 The filmmakers incorporate some production design elements into the combat and conflict as a nifty way to make full use of the location. Courtney Howard, Variety, 10 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for design

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near design

desight

design

designable

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Statistics for design

Last Updated

13 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Design.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/design. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for design

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

More from Merriam-Webster on design

Nglish: Translation of design for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of design for Arabic Speakers

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