Definition of design in English:

design

noun

  • 1A plan or drawing produced to show the look and function or workings of a building, garment, or other object before it is made.

    ‘he has just unveiled his design for the new museum’
    • ‘I asked Lara whether crews had discovered problems during construction - poor building plans or designs or materials.’
    • ‘Not long time back building designs & drawings was a pain in the neck by the hand using the conventional pen and paper on a drafting table.’
    • ‘The location of the Quarter will depend on the developer's plans and designs and scale of buildings.’
    • ‘Planning officers said the design of the building was ‘bold and contemporary’ but did not detract from the area.’
    • ‘When looking at building plans in the design stage, program is usually what's on everyone's mind.’
    • ‘If the public inquiry, which began on Tuesday, approves the scheme, the firm will produce the final designs to allow building to begin.’
    • ‘Workmen have spent most of the autumn restoring this fine building to its original design.’
    • ‘Rather than rethinking our fundamental assumptions about organizational effectiveness, we have stayed preoccupied with charts and plans and designs.’
    • ‘The management and business plan will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund by January 31, along with restoration designs, plans, drawings and documents.’
    • ‘Hence, room designs and floor plans are becoming more flexible to fit the homeowner's mood.’
    • ‘They have the ability and the qualification to produce quality designs and buildings.’
    • ‘In the product development area, suppliers are sharing designs and drawings.’
    • ‘It says the building designs are ‘very mediocre’ and the materials foreign to York, collectively failing to reflect anything of the city's character.’
    • ‘All building regulation requirements are already secured for the designs and the building work and financial support is carried out by partners in the Procure 1 company.’
    • ‘Children will also have the opportunity to create their own Lego designs in the building area and can have a free photograph of their own special Lego creation to take home.’
    • ‘Awards are given to the best designs for outstanding new buildings, restoration projects, works of public art right through to landscape and urban design.’
    • ‘A flagship environmental centre has swept the boards in a prestigious contest to find the best building designs in Doncaster.’
    • ‘Several councillors objected to the designs of the buildings, despite the application being voted through.’
    • ‘New designs for the building are set to go on display by Christmas.’
    • ‘He said the design of the building, although it was contemporary, had many features which reflected a traditional type of development.’
    plan, blueprint, drawing, scale drawing, sketch, outline, map, plot, diagram, delineation, draft, depiction, representation, artist's impression, scheme, model, prototype, proposal
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    1. 1.1mass noun The art or action of conceiving of and producing a plan or drawing of something before it is made.
      ‘good design can help the reader understand complicated information’
      • ‘The result is that component design is rarely conceived of in such a way that lends itself to automated manufacturing.’
      • ‘The set and light design, which was conceived of even before the script was written, was being touted as the main focus of the piece.’
      • ‘Some plans are difficult to administer, but this is often a result of complex design chosen by the plan sponsor.’
      • ‘The course will focus on creative design for productive suburban food gardens, and on water saving techniques.’
      • ‘The students have shown what can be achieved through creative design and the latest in printing technology.’
      • ‘Skincare packaging, too, has accelerated into the 21st century in terms of design.’
      • ‘Others, such as the remnant of a ring of trees around the summit, may be signs of 18th century landscape design.’
      • ‘But… why then do the rest of the world not pay any attention to our creativity in industrial or product design.’
      • ‘If the landscaping of the country house was at the cutting edge of garden design in the eighteenth century, the urban park was its successor.’
      • ‘Then it is up to product and process design to come up with ways to turn those grand plans into profitable vehicles.’
      • ‘She teaches design and drawing in the Interior and Environmental Design departments.’
      • ‘The image is a bit dark yet that's a result of the actual production design and not the fault of the transfer itself.’
      • ‘Perhaps her best effort in creative design was her costumes.’
      • ‘So that's how I started, doing costumes and sets, and then art direction and production design.’
      • ‘In the past its excellence in design and creativity has been also been acknowledged by judges in the European Newspaper Awards.’
      • ‘Looking is the avenue to satisfaction to this film, since the set and production design are as flawless as in the first movie.’
      • ‘Her technique is said to make it easier to tweak circuit design during production.’
      • ‘We believe that in the field of creative design and display we have a team of winners.’
      • ‘We are trying to encourage many young people to see this as a worthwhile career which has prospects for moving into design and product development.’
      • ‘Most of the books I've read are on design and creative matters.’
    2. 1.2mass noun The arrangement of the features of an artefact, as produced from following a plan or drawing.
      ‘inside, the design reverts to turn-of-the-century luxe’
      • ‘The design of the coin should be clear and precise with unevenness or blurring a sign of counterfeiting.’
      • ‘The policy and process for deciding on coin designs for our coins is based on the Mint's Policy on Coin Designs and Issue.’
      • ‘Little is known about Greek influences beyond what can be gathered from coins, although, like much of Roman art and politics, Roman coin designs were heavily influenced by Greek styles.’
      • ‘Ancient coin designs convey to us the events of yesteryear - opening a gateway into the past.’
      • ‘A visual feast of late Victorian stamp design and commercial printing can be found in the pages of this award winning exhibit.’
      plan, blueprint, drawing, scale drawing, sketch, outline, map, plot, diagram, delineation, draft, depiction, representation, artist's impression, scheme, model, prototype, proposal
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  • 2A decorative pattern.

    ‘pottery with a lovely blue and white design’
    • ‘Some crystal or fine glassware has a gilt design or edge on the rim of glass or as a decorative design or a patterned glass dish.’
    • ‘It featured exuberant decorative patterns, designs in the brickwork and wooden attachments.’
    • ‘It was used by my grandmother and her mother before her as a means of chalking decorative patterns and designs upon the slate hearthstone and doorstep.’
    • ‘Along the footpaths, young women whose faces were decorated with patterned designs of powdered bark, bore heavy trays of limes on their heads.’
    • ‘The pods are intricately lacquered with blue and white Indian designs.’
    • ‘Colors of amber were matched and sketches made for patterns so that mosaic designs would be accurately shaped.’
    • ‘And of course, stylised colour patterns and designs are used as marks and attractions of their own species for mating purposes.’
    • ‘Since it was still fairly early, she grabbed a blue nightgown with a pattern design of autumn leafs on it.’
    • ‘With cool patterns and intricate designs, these are sure to appeal to women folk at the very first sight.’
    • ‘This work is done in long and short darn stitch created into innumerable designs and patterns.’
    • ‘The inner face of the top band is olive/rust shot taffeta patterned with a floral design.’
    • ‘Bricklaying is one of the oldest handcrafts, it is the assembling of bricks, blocks and stone in various patterns and designs.’
    • ‘The traditional patterns are all geometric designs and have been passed down through time, generation to generation.’
    • ‘The youngsters are working together on silk printing, using designs and patterns from the hall.’
    • ‘His granddaughter related that ‘Peter made his own designs and patterns.’’
    • ‘Coming in light shades and with little designs, the garments had been designed for winter use.’
    • ‘And for those who take up the craft of drawing designs on glass, there is a range of over 60 shades of glass deco colours, available in India for the first time.’
    • ‘What's more, there are varying designs on the garments, like embroidered pitch-stitch flowers.’
    • ‘Each has its own design, some achieving incredibly delicate results on granite.’
    pattern, motif, device
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  • 3mass noun Purpose or planning that exists behind an action, fact, or object.

    ‘the appearance of design in the universe’
    • ‘Neither its design nor its purpose has changed in that time.’
    • ‘The design behind these incidents was undoubtedly to give it a communal colour.’
    • ‘A second argument draws from the appearance of design in the universe the conclusion that there must be a Designer.’
    • ‘The three winners are different in scale, design and purpose, yet they are linked by their modernity.’
    • ‘These kosmoi are impermanent, and are not accounted for by purpose or design.’
    intention, aim, purpose, plan, intent, objective, object, goal, end, target, point, hope, desire, wish, dream, aspiration, ambition, idea
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verb

[with object]
  • 1Decide upon the look and functioning of (a building, garment, or other object), by making a detailed drawing of it.

    ‘a number of architectural students were designing a factory’
    • ‘So the building was deliberately designed to function both as a station and as a fort.’
    • ‘A competition will be launched to decide who will design the new buildings.’
    • ‘Of course buildings must be designed with consideration of how they will fit in.’
    • ‘He is best known for helping to design the House of Commons.’
    • ‘When we complete the interviews next week we will have selected a firm to work with the staff, students and faculty to design the building.’
    • ‘The new building would be designed with high security measures in a bid to discourage damage.’
    • ‘He sees architects today designing intelligent and space-efficient buildings.’
    • ‘Thomas also offers services such as designing, building, and hosting suppliers' Web sites.’
    • ‘How the steel twisted during failure may help architects design safer buildings in the future.’
    • ‘During his teaching tenure here, he also started designing, building and offering consultancy services.’
    • ‘The amount of engineering that goes into designing, building and testing a rocket is staggering.’
    • ‘The competition involved the pupils designing, building and programming a robot.’
    • ‘No one in the history of architecture had gone about designing a building in this way.’
    • ‘They are working on a real estate project, designing apartment buildings as well as the interior decoration.’
    • ‘At that point in his career, the young architect had no experience designing such large buildings.’
    • ‘Lists of buildings designed by fashionable architects can be applied to most tertiary campuses, both city and regional.’
    • ‘Although both buildings were originally designed to accommodate only offices they were being used as residences.’
    • ‘A system was therefore designed which creates commercial credit through the income tax code.’
    • ‘They were designed by the artist in the late 1920s and the early 1930s.’
    • ‘The surface area can be designed to customer specifications.’
    plan, draw plans of, draw, sketch, outline, map out, plot, block out, delineate, draft, depict
    invent, originate, create, think up, come up with, devise, form, formulate, conceive
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    1. 1.1Do or plan (something) with a specific purpose in mind.
      with object and infinitive ‘the tax changes were designed to stimulate economic growth’
      • ‘The new website is designed to help students plan how they get to school or college.’
      • ‘This equips the researchers to design studies in vitro that will allow them to improve animal welfare and reduce variability.’
      • ‘Many brands and types of products are specifically designed to protect and restore your leather goods.’
      • ‘The law was originally designed to protect the merchant navy from financial ruin during wartime.’
      • ‘The programme is especially designed to help and support people diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.’
      • ‘For instance, a lesson in science is designed primarily to help students develop academic concepts.’
      • ‘They also in certain circumstances impose positive obligations to take measures designed to ensure that those rights are effectively protected.’
      • ‘The last budget contained measures designed to prevent future avoidance of capital gains tax.’
      • ‘Despite measures designed to prevent such a possibility, a mix-up occurred.’
      • ‘The latter programme was specially designed to assist voluntary groups in getting new projects established.’
      • ‘Handles, locks and hinges are specially designed to help defeat unauthorized attempts to open.’
      • ‘The centers were primarily designed to accommodate troops returning from overseas.’
      • ‘We review research on programs designed to promote family wellness and prevent the maltreatment of children.’
      • ‘Much like a chisel, or a dagger, tools designed for one purpose tend to follow a basic model.’
      • ‘Moreover, there have been numerous state and international initiatives designed to promote early childhood education.’
      • ‘The government has announced initiatives designed to give the impression of a huge expansion of pre-school education.’
      • ‘He said that any Government initiative designed to save lives was welcome.’
      • ‘And the masters and diploma courses are especially designed to fit into people's work commitments.’
      • ‘The organisation will fund pilot studies and develop and implement educational programs designed to promote innovative methodologies in health disparities research.’
      • ‘Stuart, amongst others, disputes the contention that patents " were originally designed to protect small investors".’
      intend, aim
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Phrases

    by design
    • As a result of a plan; intentionally.

      ‘I became a presenter by default rather than by design’
      • ‘If they did end up saving too little, they'd have done so by design rather than default.’
      • ‘Well, it may seem obvious that they both are made by design or intent.’
      • ‘Lots of people are starting to suspect that's by design rather than by accident.’
      • ‘He believes that such feelings developed more by accident rather than by design.’
      • ‘By doing so, thought process and decision making can be taught by design, rather than left to chance.’
      • ‘By default or by design, we're going to basically decide what kind of world we want to live in.’
      • ‘The Swedish example did not happen by accident - it happened by design.’
      • ‘Far more by accident than by design, they start a small business.’
      • ‘I think the media has traditionally had a liberal slant, but I don't think it's by design.’
      • ‘It's hard to judge how far this separation is by circumstance or by design.’
    have designs on
    • 1Aim to obtain (something), typically in an underhand way.

      ‘he suspected her of having designs on the family fortune’
      • ‘He emerged as sole leader of the opposition in 1263, but his position had weakened, for many magnates suspected him of having designs on the throne.’
      • ‘We still have designs on taking that third spot and qualifying for Europe.’
      • ‘The only way to avoid deaths on such a grand scale is to ensure someone who has designs on power are dealt with in the strictest manner at the earliest opportunity.’
      • ‘At their meeting they warned potential candidates and political parties who had designs on exploiting the people locally in the run up to the General elections, to ‘back off in their cynical campaigns.’’
      • ‘She had designs on the job herself but she did not get the required support.’
      • ‘We don't really have designs on their market share, but I do think what we learned might help us against our big rivals.’
      • ‘And they have designs on ailing industries, such as airlines.’
      • ‘Both have designs on a rich post-secondary career, but did poorly enough on the pre-test to consider drastic measures.’
      • ‘But I know there are some people who have designs on making some bets next Sunday.’
      • ‘It's very well done and worthy of watching, especially if you have designs on surfing for life yourself.’
      1. 1.1informal Have an undisclosed sexual interest in.
        ‘a bloke called Kevin who, in Henry's view, had had designs on Elinor’
        • ‘A Geordie bus driver, captivated by my southern charm, had designs on me that weren't entirely honourable.’
        • ‘He had designs on two of our daughters, but wasn't able to make a move because he was terrified of me.’
        • ‘What he doesn't count on, however, is the children's mean-spirited ability to thwart every red-blooded male who has designs on their mother.’
        • ‘It turns out that Fiona, somewhat man hungry, has designs on Henry, Yvonne turns up, and the proceedings come to an unraveled conclusion with no bones broken.’
        • ‘Not only that, she was a divorced American adventuress who had designs on the popular and charming Prince.’
        • ‘Yet he couldn't bring himself to believe that she had designs on him.’
        • ‘I'd be lying if I said I didn't have designs on you.’
        • ‘His neighbor, who has designs on him, mistakes one of the pranksters for a romantic rival.’
        • ‘Mother was still utterly platonic around Timothy, and I was afraid she might decide we should go back home if she suspected Timothy had designs on her.’
        • ‘To tell the truth, it had begun to bother me: I was beginning to wonder if maybe it wasn't actually me that he had designs on.’

Origin

Late Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘to designate’): from Latin designare ‘to designate’, reinforced by French désigner. The noun is via French from Italian.

Pronunciation

design

/dɪˈzʌɪn/