Etymology: Middle English, to outline, indicate, mean, from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French designer to designate, from Medieval Latin designare, from Latin, to mark out, from de- + signare to mark — more at sign
Date: 14th century
1. to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan ; devise, contrive
a. to conceive and plan out in the mind <he designed the perfect crime> b. to have as a purpose ; intend <she designed to excel in her studies> c. to devise for a specific function or end <a book designed primarily as a college textbook> 3. archaic to indicate with a distinctive mark, sign, or name 4. a. to make a drawing, pattern, or sketch of b. to draw the plans for <design a building> intransitive verb 1. to conceive or execute a plan 2. to draw, lay out, or prepare a design • designedly adverb II. noun Date: 1569 1. a. a particular purpose held in view by an individual or group <he has ambitious designs for his son> b. deliberate purposive planning <more by accident than design> 2. a mental project or scheme in which means to an end are laid down 3. a. a deliberate undercover project or scheme ; plot b. plural aggressive or evil intent — used with on or against <he has designs on the money> 4. a preliminary sketch or outline showing the main features of something to be executed <the design for the new stadium> 5. a. an underlying scheme that governs functioning, developing, or unfolding ; pattern, motif <the general design of the epic> b. a plan or protocol for carrying out or accomplishing something (as a scientific experiment); also the process of preparing this 6. the arrangement of elements or details in a product or work of art 7. a decorative pattern <a floral design> 8. the creative art of executing aesthetic or functional designs Synonyms: see intention, plan
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.