v. de·signed, de·sign·ing, de·signs
a. To conceive or fashion in the mind; invent: design a good excuse for not attending the conference.
b. To formulate a plan for; devise: designed a marketing strategy for the new product.
2. To make a graphic or schematic representation of (something), especially as a plan for its structure: design a building on a computer; design a new car model.
3. To create or contrive for a particular purpose or effect: a game designed to appeal to all ages.
4. To have as a goal or purpose; intend: "Mrs. Bennet had designed to keep the two Netherfield gentlemen to supper; but ... she had no opportunity of detaining them" (Jane Austen).
1. To make or execute plans.
2. To create designs.
a. A drawing or sketch.
b. A graphic representation, especially a detailed plan for construction or manufacture.
c. An ornamental pattern. See Synonyms at figure.
a. The purposeful or inventive arrangement of parts or details: the aerodynamic design of an automobile; the design of an epic poem.
b. A particular plan or method: the party's design for increasing voter turnout. See Synonyms at plan.
3. The art or practice of designing or making designs: studied design in college.
a. A reasoned purpose; an intent: It was her design to set up practice on her own as soon as she was qualified.
b. Deliberate intention: He became a photographer more by accident than by design.
c. often designs A secretive or underhanded plot or scheme: He has designs on my job.
[Middle English designen, from Latin dēsignāre, to designate; see DESIGNATE.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.