Arts of design
Design De*sign", n. [Cf. dessein, dessin.] 1. A preliminary sketch; an outline or pattern of the main features of something to be executed, as of a picture, a building, or a decoration; a delineation; a plan. [1913 Webster]

2. A plan or scheme formed in the mind of something to be done; preliminary conception; idea intended to be expressed in a visible form or carried into action; intention; purpose; -- often used in a bad sense for evil intention or purpose; scheme; plot. [1913 Webster]

The vast design and purpos? of the King. --Tennyson. [1913 Webster]

The leaders of that assembly who withstood the designs of a besotted woman. --Hallam. [1913 Webster]

A . . . settled design upon another man's life. --Locke. [1913 Webster]

How little he could guess the secret designs of the court! --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

3. Specifically, intention or purpose as revealed or inferred from the adaptation of means to an end; as, the argument from design. [1913 Webster]

4. The realization of an inventive or decorative plan; esp., a work of decorative art considered as a new creation; conception or plan shown in completed work; as, this carved panel is a fine design, or of a fine design. [1913 Webster]

5. (Mus.) The invention and conduct of the subject; the disposition of every part, and the general order of the whole. [1913 Webster]

{Arts of design}, those into which the designing of artistic forms and figures enters as a principal part, as architecture, painting, engraving, sculpture.

{School of design}, one in which are taught the invention and delineation of artistic or decorative figures, patterns, and the like.

Syn: Intention; purpose; scheme; project; plan; idea.

Usage: {Design}, {Intention}, {Purpose}. Design has reference to something definitely aimed at. Intention points to the feelings or desires with which a thing is sought. Purpose has reference to a settled choice or determination for its attainment. ``I had no design to injure you,'' means it was no part of my aim or object. ``I had no intention to injure you,'' means, I had no wish or desire of that kind. ``My purpose was directly the reverse,'' makes the case still stronger. [1913 Webster]

Is he a prudent man . . . that lays designs only for a day, without any prospect to the remaining part of his life? --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

I wish others the same intention, and greater successes. --Sir W. Temple. [1913 Webster]

It is the purpose that makes strong the vow. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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