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 \ di-​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

And now, the products: Containing caffeine, vitamins C and B3, and optic brighteners, the Olay Brightening Eye Cream ($22.31; amazon.com) was designed to specifically target the under-eye area using fast absorbing technology. Nikhita Mahtani, CNN Underscored, "Want to fight dark circles? Look for these ingredients in your next eye cream," 10 Aug. 2019 Restaurant owners designed their menus for universal appeal. Los Angeles Times, "Two Iranian American food writers talk Persian restaurant menus and home cooking," 10 Aug. 2019 The rest addressed filing, matching, decision-making and situational questions that Spouder said were designed for management-level positions, but had nothing to do with his job. Bay City News Service, The Mercury News, "San Jose hospital workers who responded to Gilroy mass shooting say their jobs are in jeopardy," 9 Aug. 2019 Blackley, whose credits include leading the team that designed the Xbox, talked the MFA into letting him extract dormant yeast spores from a 4,500-year-old loaf of Egyptian bread the museum had in its antiquities collection. Hiawatha Bray, BostonGlobe.com, "Now rising from an ancient Egyptian tomb: Bread," 8 Aug. 2019 The first new school built in the district since 1999, the school was designed to alleviate overcrowding at the district's elementary schools and middle school. Alec Johnson, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "The first new school built in the Hamilton School District since 1999 will be dedicated before classes start," 7 Aug. 2019 Just 25% to 40% of the group has ever designed electronics before. Fortune, "Inside the Growing Tech Battle for India’s Consumers—Data Sheet," 7 Aug. 2019 Why tune in: Brigid Schulte designed this podcast with busy working moms in mind. Jennifer Folsom, NBC News, "5 awesome podcasts working moms should be listening to right now," 6 Aug. 2019 The new Rockefeller suites will be individually curated and custom-designed, boasting views of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the Empire State Building, and, seasonally, the Rockefeller Center ice skating rink and Christmas tree. Olivia Carville, chicagotribune.com, "Airbnb to offer 200 new luxury suites at Rockefeller Plaza," 6 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The History of Botanic Gardens with Historian Chet Orloff: 7-8:30 p.m. Discuss the work of great names in garden design. oregonlive.com, "Homes and gardens events around Portland: Fuchsia show, plant walks and more," 9 Aug. 2019 Nakauchi says these concerns have been taken into consideration in the experiment design. David Cyranoski, Scientific American, "Japan Approves First Human-Animal Embryo Experiments," 9 Aug. 2019 The concept, which was approved by the city commission at its meeting July 17, is still in the design and permitting phase. Johnny Diaz, sun-sentinel.com, "Pedestrian bridge above the MacArthur Causeway is meant to be a ‘rainbow of colorful shadows’," 7 Aug. 2019 Or sophisticated, or elegant—two traits that are typically aspirational in design. Diana Budds, Curbed, "Cute furniture is a reprieve from our age of anxiety," 7 Aug. 2019 Clark Condon Associates, Studio RED Architects, Gunda Corp. and Arch-Con Construction are also involved in the market's design and construction. Nancy Sarnoff, Houston Chronicle, "Plans for Airline farmers market unveiled at groundbreaking," 7 Aug. 2019 In the end, the flaws in the bombs’ design were critical to a federal judge’s decision to give Mr. Sayoc 20 years in prison rather than the life sentence prosecutors requested. Benjamin Weiser, New York Times, "Cesar Sayoc, Who Mailed Pipe Bombs to Trump Critics, Is Sentenced to 20 Years," 5 Aug. 2019 Successive governments’ efforts to improve their circumstances have disappointed, in part, Aboriginal leaders contend, because Aboriginals do not have enough say in the design of such policies. The Economist, "Australia’s government wants to amend the constitution. But how?," 1 Aug. 2019 Questrom’s 160 or so faculty members will play an integral role in the course design and implementation. BostonGlobe.com, "Boston University, edX partner to offer online MBA program," 30 July 2019

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

13 Aug 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

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