Meaning of “design” in the English Dictionary

"design" in British English

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designverb

uk /dɪˈzaɪn/ us /dɪˈzaɪn/

design verb (PLAN)

B1 [ I or T ] to make or draw plans for something, for example clothes or buildings:

Who designed this building/dress/furniture?
This range of clothing is specially designed for shorter women.

More examples

  • In 1960, Pierre Cardin became the first couturier to design men's clothes.
  • He's designed dresses for many celebrities, most famously the Queen.
  • All our advertising material is designed in-house.
  • The building isn't designed very well from the point of view of wheelchair access.
  • Adam designed and wrote the software.

design verb (INTEND)

More examples

  • The advertisements were designed to shock - that was the whole point of the campaign.
  • The government has produced a series of leaflets designed to extend public awareness of the dangers of AIDS.
  • This course is designed to give drivers a grounding in car maintenance.
  • By its nature, terrorism is designed to strike at the heart of our democratic values.
  • The new law is designed to protect people's privacy.

designnoun

uk /dɪˈzaɪn/ us /dɪˈzaɪn/

design noun (PLAN)

C1 [ C ] a drawing or set of drawings showing how a building or product is to be made and how it will work and look:

Have you seen the designs for the new shopping centre?

B1 [ U ] also designing the art of making plans or drawings for something:

She's an expert on kitchen/software design.
He's studying design in Paris.

B1 [ S or U ] the way in which something is planned and made:

I don't like the design of this sofa.
The building was originally Victorian in design.
a serious design fault
The car has some excellent design features.

More examples

  • The design of the church echoes that of St. Paul's Cathedral.
  • There was a very positive response to our new design - people seemed very pleased with it.
  • The designs for the new mosque have attracted widespread criticism.
  • The fault surely lies in the design of the equipment.
  • The car has a serious design fault.

design noun (INTENTION)

by design

intentionally:

I'm sure he ignored you by accident and not by design.
designs [ plural ]

plans, often ones that are not honest, to get something or someone for yourself:

to have territorial designs (on neighbouring countries)
humorous I think Alan has designs on your job/wife!

(Definition of “design” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"design" in American English

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designverb

us /dɪˈzɑɪn/

design verb (PLAN)

[ I/T ] to make or draw plans for something:

[ T ] A famous engineer designed the new bridge.
[ I ] She designs for a dress manufacturer.

design verb (INTEND)

[ T ] to intend a result:

These measures are designed to reduce pollution.

designnoun

us /dɪˈzɑɪn/

design noun (PLAN)

[ C/U ] a plan or drawing:

[ C ] Have you seen the designs for the new lobby?

[ C/U ] Design is the skill of making plans or drawings for something:

[ U ] She’s an expert in software design.

art [ C/U ] Design is also the way in which something is arranged or shaped:

[ U ] I like the design of this microwave oven.

art [ C/U ] A design is also a pattern used to decorate something:

a geometric design

design noun (INTENTION)

[ U ] purpose or intention:

The details of the case are unclear, and this is by design (= intentional).

design noun (PLANS)

[ pl ] plans to get something or someone for yourself, esp. secret or dishonest plans:

Troop movements suggest the country has designs on its neighbor.

(Definition of “design” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"design" in Business English

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designverb

uk /dɪˈzaɪn/ us

[ I or T ] to make or draw plans for something that will be produced:

Who designed your website?
This range of clothing is specially designed for shorter women.

[ T ] to intend for a particular purpose:

This dictionary is designed for people using English in a business situation.
be designed to do sth These measures are designed to reduce pollution.

designnoun

uk /dɪˈzaɪn/ us

[ C or U ] the way in which something is planned and made:

I don't like the design of this control panel.
produce/develop/improve a design The company excelled at producing new designs for established products.
innovative/original design The innovative design of the product won several awards.
good/poor design
a serious design fault
The car has some excellent design features.
The building was originally Victorianin design.

[ C ] a drawing or set of drawings showing how a building or product is to be made and how it will work and look:

Have you seen the designs for the new shopping centre?

[ U ] the work of making plans or drawings for something:

She works in software design.
He is studying interior design.
There are a lot of good opportunities in the area of web design.
The product was abandoned when it was still at the design stage.

(Definition of “design” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)