verb (used with object)
to prepare the preliminary sketch or the plans for (a work to be executed), especially to plan the form and structure of: to design a new bridge.
to plan and fashion artistically or skillfully.
to intend for a definite purpose: a scholarship designed for foreign students.
to form or conceive in the mind; contrive; plan: The prisoner designed an intricate escape.
to assign in thought or intention; purpose: He designed to be a doctor.
Obsolete. to mark out, as by a sign; indicate.
verb (used without object)
to make drawings, preliminary sketches, or plans.
to plan and fashion the form and structure of an object, work of art, decorative scheme, etc.
an outline, sketch, or plan, as of the form and structure of a work of art, an edifice, or a machine to be executed or constructed.
organization or structure of formal elements in a work of art; composition.
the combination of details or features of a picture, building, etc.; the pattern or motif of artistic work: the design on a bracelet.
the art of designing: a school of design.
a plan or project: a design for a new process.
a plot or intrigue, especially an underhand, deceitful, or treacherous one: His political rivals formulated a design to unseat him.
designs, a hostile or aggressive project or scheme having evil or selfish motives: He had designs on his partner's stock.
intention; purpose; end.
adaptation of means to a preconceived end.

1350–1400; Middle English designen < Latin dēsignāre to mark out. See de-, sign

outdesign, verb (used with object)
overdesign, verb
predesign, verb (used with object)
redesign, verb
self-design, noun
underdesign, verb (used with object)

5. See intend. 13. See plan. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
design (dɪˈzaɪn)
1.  to work out the structure or form of (something), as by making a sketch, outline, pattern, or plans
2.  to plan and make (something) artistically or skilfully
3.  (tr) to form or conceive in the mind; invent
4.  (tr) to intend, as for a specific purpose; plan
5.  obsolete (tr) to mark out or designate
6.  a plan, sketch, or preliminary drawing
7.  the arrangement or pattern of elements or features of an artistic or decorative work: the design of the desk is Chippendale
8.  a finished artistic or decorative creation
9.  the art of designing
10.  a plan, scheme, or project
11.  an end aimed at or planned for; intention; purpose
12.  (often plural; often foll by on or against) a plot or hostile scheme, often to gain possession of (something) by illegitimate means
13.  a coherent or purposeful pattern, as opposed to chaos: God's design appears in nature
14.  philosophy argument from design another name for teleological argument
[C16: from Latin dēsignāre to mark out, describe, from de- + signāre to mark, from signum a mark, sign]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1540s, from L. designare "mark out, devise," from de- "out" + signare "to mark," from signum "a mark, sign." Originally in English with the meaning now attached to designate; many modern uses of design are metaphoric extensions.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Computing Dictionary

design definition

The approach that engineering (and some other) disciplines use to specify how to create or do something. A successful design must satisfies a (perhaps informal) functional specification (do what it was designed to do); conforms to the limitations of the target medium (it is possible to implement); meets implicit or explicit requirements on performance and resource usage (it is efficient enough).
A design may also have to satisfy restrictions on the design process itself, such as its length or cost, or the tools available for doing the design.
In the software life-cycle, design follows requirements analysis and is followed by implementation.
["Object-Oriented Analysis and Design with Applications", 2nd ed., Grady Booch].

The Free On-line Dictionary of Computing, © Denis Howe 2010
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see by design; have designs on.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
We were trying to simplify as much as possible, to create something basic, but
  not a faceless design.
Many commercial and industrial designers use computer-aided design software to
  create new products.
But agreeing on a design is only the first step in completing a cover.
Researchers are increasingly turning to nature for design inspiration.
Idioms & Phrases
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