Meaning of DESIGN in English


I. de ‧ sign 1 S2 W1 AC /dɪˈzaɪn/ BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ design , ↑ designer ; verb : ↑ design ]

1 . PROCESS OF PLANNING [uncountable] the art or process of making a drawing of something to show how you will make it or what it will look like:

The new plane is in its final design stage.

the design process

the design team

a course in graphic design

computer-aided design

2 . ARRANGEMENT OF PARTS [uncountable and countable] the way that something has been planned and made, including its appearance, how it works etc:

The car’s design has been greatly improved.

design of

the design of the new building

Some changes have been made to the computer’s basic design.

a design fault

The electric windows are an important design feature of this model.

3 . PATTERN [countable] a pattern for decorating something:

a floral design

Vinyl flooring is available in a wide range of designs.

4 . DRAWING [countable] a drawing that shows how something will be made or what it will look like

design for

the design for the new sports centre

5 . INTENTION [uncountable and countable] a plan that someone has in their mind

by design (=intentionally)

We shall never know whether this happened by accident or by design.

He has some grand designs for the company.

6 . have designs on something to want something for yourself, especially because it will bring you money:

Several developers have designs on the property.

7 . have designs on somebody formal to want a sexual relationship with someone:

He had designs on her.

• • •

COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ adjectives

▪ good

Good design is very important in a house.

▪ simple

The latest model of the car has a much simpler design.

▪ modern

Many people were against such a modern design in the old city centre.

▪ traditional

Our new range of furniture has a traditional design.

▪ classical (=relating to the style of Ancient Greece or Rome)

a large building of classical design

▪ the basic design (=not including all the small details)

The basic design of the two churches is very similar.

■ verbs

▪ create/produce a design

Use your imagination to create an interesting design in the garden.

▪ come up with a design (=think of or suggest one)

We asked the architect to come up with another design.

■ design + NOUN

▪ a design feature (=something interesting or attractive that is part of the design)

The aircraft has some novel design features.

▪ a design fault/flaw (=a part of something that does not work well or look good)

If a washing-machine makes too much noise, it’s a design fault.

• • •


▪ pattern a regularly repeated arrangement of shapes, colours, or lines on a surface:

Some of his pictures use patterns of dots.


The lines formed a regular pattern.

▪ design a pattern used for decorating something, especially cloth or paper:

curtains with a floral design (=based on flowers)

▪ markings the coloured patterns and shapes on an animal’s fur, feathers, or skin:

the tiger’s black and orange markings

▪ motif formal a single shape that is regularly repeated to form a pattern which decorates something:

A triangle within a square is a very common motif in Muslim art.


The shield motif in the frescoes at Knossos is a religious, not a military, symbol.

II. design 2 S3 W1 AC BrE AmE verb [transitive]

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ design , ↑ designer ; verb : ↑ design ]

[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Origin: French désigner , from Latin designare , from signare 'to mark' ]

1 . to make a drawing or plan of something that will be made or built:

The tower was designed by Gilbert Scott.

design something for something

She designed a new logo for the company.

well/badly etc designed

a badly designed office

specially designed software

2 . [usually passive] to plan or develop something for a specific purpose

design something to do something

These exercises are designed to strengthen muscles.

be designed for somebody/something

The course is designed for beginners.

be designed as something

The book is designed as a reference manual.

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.