General English

General Science

  • noun the planning or drawing of something before it is constructed or manufactured


  • verb to draw plans using accurate information in preparation for constructing something

Cars & Driving

  • noun the arrangement of parts; a form of construction
  • verb to arrange the parts or construction of (a car, an engine, etc.)


  • noun the planning or drawing of a product before it is built or manufactured
  • noun the planning of the visual aspect of an advertisement
  • verb to plan or to draw something before it is built or manufactured


  • To create a graphic representation of a structure.
  • The graphic architectural concept of a structure.
  • To make a preliminary sketch, drawing, or outline.


  • A detailed plan, usually in graphical form, specifying the layout of the components incorporated in a device or process, and how they interrelate with each other. Also, the preparation of such a plan.
  • The specifying of the electrical elements, and the manner in which they interconnect with each other, in the formation of a circuit which performs a desired function. Also called circuit design.

Information & Library Science

  • verb to plan what something new will be like


  • noun a drawing which shows how a book or page or cover will look when finished

Origin & History of “design”

The semantic history of design is a little complicated. It comes ultimately from the past participle of Latin dēsignāre ‘mark out’ (source also of English designate (15th c.)), a compound verb formed from the prefix - ‘out’ and signāre ‘mark’, a derivative of signum ‘sign’. But English acquired it largely via French, in which a three-way split of form and meaning had taken place. In both respects désigner ‘point out, denote’ remains closest to the original Latin, but this use of the word has now died out in English, having been taken over by designate. This has left the field open to the metaphorical use ‘plan’, represented in French on the one hand by dessein ‘purpose, intention’ and on the other by dessin ‘pattern, drawing’ and its related verb dessiner. they represent the two main areas of meaning covered by the word in modern English, although English has stuck to the more latinate spelling.