Definition of design in US 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 built or made.

    ‘he has just unveiled his design for the new museum’
    • ‘In the product development area, suppliers are sharing designs and drawings.’
    • ‘They have the ability and the qualification to produce quality designs and buildings.’
    • ‘Awards are given to the best designs for outstanding new buildings, restoration projects, works of public art right through to landscape and urban design.’
    • ‘New designs for the building are set to go on display by Christmas.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If the public inquiry, which began on Tuesday, approves the scheme, the firm will produce the final designs to allow building to begin.’
    • ‘Several councillors objected to the designs of the buildings, despite the application being voted through.’
    • ‘He said the design of the building, although it was contemporary, had many features which reflected a traditional type of development.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Workmen have spent most of the autumn restoring this fine building to its original design.’
    • ‘A flagship environmental centre has swept the boards in a prestigious contest to find the best building designs in Doncaster.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Hence, room designs and floor plans are becoming more flexible to fit the homeowner's mood.’
    • ‘When looking at building plans in the design stage, program is usually what's on everyone's mind.’
    • ‘It says the building designs are ‘very mediocre’ and the materials foreign to York, collectively failing to reflect anything of the city's character.’
    • ‘Rather than rethinking our fundamental assumptions about organizational effectiveness, we have stayed preoccupied with charts and plans and designs.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The management and business plan will be submitted to the Heritage Lottery Fund by January 31, along with restoration designs, plans, drawings and documents.’
    • ‘I asked Lara whether crews had discovered problems during construction - poor building plans or designs or materials.’
    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. 1.1 The art or action of conceiving of and producing a plan or drawing.
      ‘good design can help the reader understand complicated information’
      ‘the cloister is of late-twelfth-century design’
      • ‘In the past its excellence in design and creativity has been also been acknowledged by judges in the European Newspaper Awards.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We believe that in the field of creative design and display we have a team of winners.’
      • ‘She teaches design and drawing in the Interior and Environmental Design departments.’
      • ‘Her technique is said to make it easier to tweak circuit design during production.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Some plans are difficult to administer, but this is often a result of complex design chosen by the plan sponsor.’
      • ‘Looking is the avenue to satisfaction to this film, since the set and production design are as flawless as in the first movie.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The students have shown what can be achieved through creative design and the latest in printing technology.’
      • ‘Most of the books I've read are on design and creative matters.’
      • ‘But… why then do the rest of the world not pay any attention to our creativity in industrial or product design.’
      • ‘The course will focus on creative design for productive suburban food gardens, and on water saving techniques.’
      • ‘So that's how I started, doing costumes and sets, and then art direction and production design.’
      • ‘The result is that component design is rarely conceived of in such a way that lends itself to automated manufacturing.’
  • 2An arrangement of lines or shapes created to form a pattern or decoration.

    ‘pottery with a lovely blue and white design’
    • ‘Since it was still fairly early, she grabbed a blue nightgown with a pattern design of autumn leafs on it.’
    • ‘Coming in light shades and with little designs, the garments had been designed for winter use.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Colors of amber were matched and sketches made for patterns so that mosaic designs would be accurately shaped.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His granddaughter related that ‘Peter made his own designs and patterns.’’
    • ‘Each has its own design, some achieving incredibly delicate results on granite.’
    • ‘Ethnic looks still sell, while the calming influence of Asian designs and nature-inspired patterns has remained strong.’
    • ‘This work is done in long and short darn stitch created into innumerable designs and patterns.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘With cool patterns and intricate designs, these are sure to appeal to women folk at the very first sight.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Along the footpaths, young women whose faces were decorated with patterned designs of powdered bark, bore heavy trays of limes on their heads.’
    • ‘Bricklaying is one of the oldest handcrafts, it is the assembling of bricks, blocks and stone in various patterns and designs.’
    • ‘What's more, there are varying designs on the garments, like embroidered pitch-stitch flowers.’
    • ‘The inner face of the top band is olive/rust shot taffeta patterned with a floral design.’
    • ‘The pods are intricately lacquered with blue and white Indian designs.’
    • ‘And of course, stylised colour patterns and designs are used as marks and attractions of their own species for mating purposes.’
    pattern, motif, device
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  • 3Purpose, planning, or intention that exists or is thought to exist behind an action, fact, or material object.

    ‘the appearance of design in the universe’
    • ‘Neither its design nor its purpose has changed in that time.’
    • ‘These kosmoi are impermanent, and are not accounted for by purpose or design.’
    • ‘The design behind these incidents was undoubtedly to give it a communal colour.’
    • ‘The three winners are different in scale, design and purpose, yet they are linked by their modernity.’
    • ‘A second argument draws from the appearance of design in the universe the conclusion that there must be a Designer.’
    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.’
    • ‘At that point in his career, the young architect had no experience designing such large buildings.’
    • ‘A competition will be launched to decide who will design the new buildings.’
    • ‘During his teaching tenure here, he also started designing, building and offering consultancy services.’
    • ‘He sees architects today designing intelligent and space-efficient buildings.’
    • ‘How the steel twisted during failure may help architects design safer buildings in the future.’
    • ‘The new building would be designed with high security measures in a bid to discourage damage.’
    • ‘No one in the history of architecture had gone about designing a building in this way.’
    • ‘The surface area can be designed to customer specifications.’
    • ‘Although both buildings were originally designed to accommodate only offices they were being used as residences.’
    • ‘He is best known for helping to design the House of Commons.’
    • ‘A system was therefore designed which creates commercial credit through the income tax code.’
    • ‘The competition involved the pupils designing, building and programming a robot.’
    • ‘Lists of buildings designed by fashionable architects can be applied to most tertiary campuses, both city and regional.’
    • ‘They are working on a real estate project, designing apartment buildings as well as the interior decoration.’
    • ‘Thomas also offers services such as designing, building, and hosting suppliers' Web sites.’
    • ‘Of course buildings must be designed with consideration of how they will fit in.’
    • ‘They were designed by the artist in the late 1920s and the early 1930s.’
    • ‘The amount of engineering that goes into designing, building and testing a rocket is staggering.’
    • ‘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.’
    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. 1.1 Do or plan (something) with a specific purpose or intention in mind.
      with object and infinitive ‘the tax changes were designed to stimulate economic growth’
      • ‘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 latter programme was specially designed to assist voluntary groups in getting new projects established.’
      • ‘The last budget contained measures designed to prevent future avoidance of capital gains tax.’
      • ‘Many brands and types of products are specifically designed to protect and restore your leather goods.’
      • ‘They also in certain circumstances impose positive obligations to take measures designed to ensure that those rights are effectively protected.’
      • ‘The programme is especially designed to help and support people diagnosed with cancer and other life-threatening diseases.’
      • ‘Handles, locks and hinges are specially designed to help defeat unauthorized attempts to open.’
      • ‘This equips the researchers to design studies in vitro that will allow them to improve animal welfare and reduce variability.’
      • ‘Stuart, amongst others, disputes the contention that patents " were originally designed to protect small investors".’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Despite measures designed to prevent such a possibility, a mix-up occurred.’
      • ‘The organisation will fund pilot studies and develop and implement educational programs designed to promote innovative methodologies in health disparities research.’
      • ‘Much like a chisel, or a dagger, tools designed for one purpose tend to follow a basic model.’
      • ‘For instance, a lesson in science is designed primarily to help students develop academic concepts.’
      • ‘The centers were primarily designed to accommodate troops returning from overseas.’
      • ‘The new website is designed to help students plan how they get to school or college.’
      • ‘The law was originally designed to protect the merchant navy from financial ruin during wartime.’
      • ‘We review research on programs designed to promote family wellness and prevent the maltreatment of children.’
      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’
      • ‘He believes that such feelings developed more by accident rather than by design.’
      • ‘Lots of people are starting to suspect that's by design rather than by accident.’
      • ‘Far more by accident than by design, they start a small business.’
      • ‘By doing so, thought process and decision making can be taught by design, rather than left to chance.’
      • ‘It's hard to judge how far this separation is by circumstance or by design.’
      • ‘If they did end up saving too little, they'd have done so by design rather than default.’
      • ‘I think the media has traditionally had a liberal slant, but I don't think it's by design.’
      • ‘The Swedish example did not happen by accident - it happened by design.’
      • ‘Well, it may seem obvious that they both are made by design or intent.’
      • ‘By default or by design, we're going to basically decide what kind of world we want to live in.’
      deliberately, intentionally, on purpose, purposefully
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  • have designs on

    • Aim to obtain (something desired), typically in a secret and dishonest way.

      ‘he suspected her of having designs on the family fortune’
      • ‘She had designs on the job herself but she did not get the required support.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘And they have designs on ailing industries, such as airlines.’
      • ‘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.’’
      • ‘But I know there are some people who have designs on making some bets next Sunday.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We still have designs on taking that third spot and qualifying for Europe.’
      • ‘We don't really have designs on their market share, but I do think what we learned might help us against our big rivals.’
      • ‘Both have designs on a rich post-secondary career, but did poorly enough on the pre-test to consider drastic measures.’
      • ‘It's very well done and worthy of watching, especially if you have designs on surfing for life yourself.’

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

/dəˈzīn//dəˈzaɪn/