• Design


    • UK IPA: /dɪˈzaɪn/
    • US IPA: /də'zɑɪn/
    • Rhymes: -aɪn


    From Old French designer, from Latin designō ("I mark out, point out, describe, design, contrive"), from de- (or dis-) + signō ("I mark"), from signum ("mark").

    Full definition of design



    (plural designs)
    1. A plan (with more or less detail) for the structure and functions of an artifact, building or system.
    2. A pattern, as an element of a work of art or architecture.
    3. The composition of a work of art.
    4. Intention or plot.
      • M. Le Page Du Pratz, History of Louisisana (PG), p. 40I give it you without any other design than to shew you that I reckon nothing dear to me, when I want to do you a pleasure.
      • 2011, June 28, Piers Newbery, Wimbledon 2011: Sabine Lisicki beats Marion Bartoli, Lisicki will rise from her current ranking of 62 to at least 35 in the world on the back of her efforts at the All England Club, but she will have serious designs on a first Grand Slam title after overcoming the 2007 runner-up.
    5. The shape or appearance given to an object, especially one that is intended to make it more attractive.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter Foreword, He turned back to the scene before him and the enormous new block of council dwellings. The design was some way after Corbusier but the block was built up on plinths and resembled an Atlantic liner swimming diagonally across the site.
    6. The art of designingDanish design of furniture is world-famous.

    Related terms


    1. (obsolete)  To assign, appoint (something to someone); to designate. 16th-19th c.
      • 1646, Thomas Browne, Pseudodoxia Epidemica, I.10:he looks not below the Moon, but hath designed the regiment of sublunary affairs unto inferiour deputations.
      • DrydenHe was designed to the study of the law.
    2. To plan and carry out (a picture, work of art, construction etc.). from 17th c.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 1, The huge square box, parquet-floored and high-ceilinged, had been arranged to display a suite of bedroom furniture designed and made in the halcyon days of the last quarter of the nineteenth century, when modish taste was just due to go clean out of fashion for the best part of the next hundred years.
    3. Primitive people believe that gods designed the Earth and humans.
    4. (obsolete) To mark out and exhibit; to designate; to indicate; to show; to point out; to appoint.
      • ShakespeareWe shall see
        Justice design the victor's chivalry.
      • Beaumont and FletcherMeet me to-morrow where the master
        And this fraternity shall design.
    © Wiktionary