have designs on

Idioms & Phrases

have designs on

Contrive a secret plot or scheme, especially with selfish motives. For example, I think he has designs on my job, or Mary has designs on her sister's boyfriend. This term uses design in the sense of "a crafty plan," a usage dating from about 1700.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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