design 1 of 2

as in motif
a unit of decoration that is repeated all over something (as a fabric) the curtains have a lovely floral design

Synonyms & Similar Words

as in layout
the way in which the elements of something (as a work of art) are arranged the design of the building's lobby encourages the free flow of traffic

Synonyms & Similar Words


2 of 2


Synonym Chooser

How does the noun design contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of design are plan, plot, project, and scheme. While all these words mean "a method devised for making or doing something or achieving an end," design often suggests a particular pattern and some degree of achieved order or harmony.

a design for a new dress

When can plan be used instead of design?

The words plan and design are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, plan always implies mental formulation and sometimes graphic representation.

plans for a house

When would plot be a good substitute for design?

The synonyms plot and design are sometimes interchangeable, but plot implies a laying out in clearly distinguished sections with attention to their relations and proportions.

the plot of the play

When is project a more appropriate choice than design?

The words project and design can be used in similar contexts, but project often stresses imaginative scope and vision.

a project to develop the waterfront

Where would scheme be a reasonable alternative to design?

Although the words scheme and design have much in common, 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

Thesaurus Entries Near design

Cite this Entry

“Design.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on design

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