Other forms: designed; designs; designing

To design is to conceive, create, sketch out, or invent something. An architect might design a new apartment building, and an inventor might design a new smart phone.

Charles Eames, famous designer of fancy modern chairs, said "Design is a plan for arranging elements in such a way as best to accomplish a particular purpose." That's a broad definition, but then again, design is a broad field. School kids design book report posters, engineers design bridges, and politicians design arguments against their opponents. If you really want to explore design, take some time to examine the expert layout of a Picasso painting.

Definitions of design
  1. noun
    the act of working out the form of something (as by making a sketch or outline or plan)
    “he contributed to the design of a new instrument”
    synonyms: designing
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    the act or process of drawing up plans or layouts for some project or enterprise
    city planning, town planning, urban planning
    determining and drawing up plans for the future physical arrangement and condition of a community
    type of:
    creating by mental acts
    the act of creating something by thinking
  2. noun
    an arrangement scheme
    “the awkward design of the keyboard made operation difficult”
    “it was an excellent design for living”
    synonyms: plan
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    configuration, constellation
    an arrangement of parts or elements
    a plan or design of something that is laid out
    snare, trap
    something (often something deceptively attractive) that catches you unawares
    hotel plan, meal plan
    a plan and a room rate for providing a room and meals to guests at a hotel
    (electronics) a system design that duplicates components to provide alternatives in case one component fails
    network topology, topology
    the configuration of a communication network
    chunking, unitisation, unitization
    (psychology) the configuration of smaller units of information into large coordinated units
    iron trap
    a trap from which there is no escape
    speed trap
    a trap arranged on a roadway for catching speeders
    American plan
    a hotel plan that includes three meals daily
    Bermuda plan
    a hotel plan that provides a full breakfast daily
    European plan, continental plan
    a hotel plan that provides a continental breakfast daily
    type of:
    arrangement, organisation, organization, system
    an organized structure for arranging or classifying
  3. noun
    a preliminary sketch indicating the plan for something
    “the design of a building”
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    type of:
    sketch, study
    preliminary drawing for later elaboration
  4. noun
    something intended as a guide for making something else
    synonyms: blueprint, pattern
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    type of:
    plan, program, programme
    a series of steps to be carried out or goals to be accomplished
  5. noun
    a decorative or artistic work
    “the coach had a design on the doors”
    synonyms: figure, pattern
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    argyle, argyll
    a design consisting of a pattern of varicolored diamonds on a solid background (originally for knitted articles); patterned after the tartan of a clan in western Scotland
    bear claw
    an incised design resembling the claw of a bear; used in Native American pottery
    a design produced by inlaying gold or silver into steel
    decal, decalcomania
    either a design that is fixed to some surface or a paper bearing the design which is to be transferred to the surface
    any ornamental pattern or design (as in embroidery)
    emblem, icon
    special design or visual object representing a quality, type, group, etc.
    herringbone, herringbone pattern
    a pattern of columns of short parallel lines with all the lines in one column sloping one way and lines in adjacent columns sloping the other way; it is used in weaving, masonry, parquetry, embroidery
    a design carved in relief into a block of linoleum
    any of various geometric designs (usually circular) symbolizing the universe; used chiefly in Hinduism and Buddhism as an aid to meditation
    (Islam) a design in the shape of niche in a Muslim prayer rug; during worship the niche must be pointed toward Mecca
    motif, motive
    a design or figure that consists of recurring shapes or colors, as in architecture or decoration
    polka dot
    design consisting of a pattern of regularly spaced circular spots
    a design produced by pyrography
    screen saver
    (computer science) a moving design that appears on a computer screen when there has been no input for a specified period of time
    a design consisting of a central disk resembling the sun and rays emanating from it
    a design on the skin made by tattooing
    tetraskele, tetraskelion
    a figure consisting of four stylized human arms or legs (or bent lines) radiating from a center
    triskele, triskelion
    a figure consisting of three stylized human arms or legs (or three bent lines) radiating from a center
    pattern of weaving or structure of a fabric
    a pattern of marks
    a textile pattern of squares or crossed lines (resembling a checkerboard)
    a publisher's emblem printed in a book (usually on the title page)
    colors, colours
    a distinguishing emblem
    (heraldry) in medieval times, an emblem used to decorate a helmet
    a representation of the structure on which Jesus was crucified; used as an emblem of Christianity or in heraldry
    an emblematic design (especially in heraldry)
    emblem usually consisting of a rectangular piece of cloth of distinctive design
    emblem indicating the right of a person to bear arms
    open weave
    a weave in which warp threads never come together, leaving interstices in the fabric
    plain weave, taffeta weave
    a basic style of weave in which the weft and warp threads intertwine alternately to produce a checkerboard effect
    satin weave
    a weave in which the filling and warp threads intersect in such a way as to give a smooth compact surface with no distinguishable twill line
    seal, stamp
    a device incised to make an impression; used to secure a closing or to authenticate documents
    skull and crossbones
    emblem warning of danger or death
    emblem consisting of an object such as an animal or plant; serves as the symbol of a family or clan (especially among American Indians)
    totem pole
    a tribal emblem consisting of a pillar carved and painted with totemic figures; erected by Indian tribes of the northwest Pacific coast
    twill, twill weave
    a weave used to produce the effect of parallel diagonal ribs
    a light-colored marking
    crisscross, cross, mark
    a marking that consists of lines that cross each other
    eyespot, ocellus
    an eyelike marking (as on the wings of some butterflies); usually a spot of color inside a ring of another color
    graded markings that indicate light or shaded areas in a drawing or painting
    dapple, fleck, maculation, patch, speckle, spot
    a small contrasting part of something
    bar, streak, stripe
    a narrow marking of a different color or texture from the background
    Hakenkreuz, swastika
    the official emblem of the Nazi Party and the Third Reich; a cross with the arms bent at right angles in a clockwise direction
    type of:
    decoration, ornament, ornamentation
    something used to beautify
  6. verb
    make or work out a plan for; devise
    design a new sales strategy”
    synonyms: contrive, plan, project
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    devise the sequence of events in (a literary work or a play, movie, or ballet)
    contrive (a plan) by mutual agreement
    map, map out
    plan, delineate, or arrange in detail
    devise a strategy, plan, or course of action
    type of:
    create by mental act, create mentally
    create mentally and abstractly rather than with one's hands
  7. verb
    make a design of; plan out in systematic, often graphic form
    design a better mousetrap”
    synonyms: plan
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    design as an engineer
    design anew, make a new design for
    blueprint, draft, draught
    make a blueprint of
    type of:
    create by mental act, create mentally
    create mentally and abstractly rather than with one's hands
  8. verb
    create the design for; create or execute in an artistic or highly skilled manner
    “Chanel designed the famous suit”
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    cut, tailor
    style and tailor in a certain fashion
    make up
    devise or compose
    cut into gores
    type of:
    create, make
    create by artistic means
  9. verb
    plan something for a specific role or purpose or effect
    “This room is not designed for work”
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    type of:
    designate, destine, intend, specify
    design or destine
  10. verb
    create designs
    “Dupont designs for the house of Chanel”
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    type of:
    create, make
    create by artistic means
  11. noun
    the creation of something in the mind
    synonyms: conception, excogitation, innovation, invention
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    the invention of a scheme or story to suit some purpose
    the faculty of contriving; inventive skill
    type of:
    creative thinking, creativeness, creativity
    the ability to create
  12. noun
    an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions
    “he made no secret of his designs
    synonyms: aim, intent, intention, mission, purpose
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    idea, mind
    your intention; what you intend to do
    a contrary aim
    final cause
    (philosophy) the end or purpose of a thing or process
    the purpose of achieving or obtaining
    purpose; the phrase `with a view to' means `with the intention of' or `for the purpose of'
    a fixed and persistent intent or purpose
    type of:
    end, goal
    the state of affairs that a plan is intended to achieve and that (when achieved) terminates behavior intended to achieve it
  13. verb
    conceive or fashion in the mind; invent
    “She designed a good excuse for not attending classes that day”
  14. verb
    intend or have as a purpose
    “She designed to go far in the world of business”
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    type of:
    intend, mean, think
    have in mind as a purpose




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