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by design

Deliberately and purposefully; as one planned or intended. I assure you that everything you saw has happened by design.
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a camel is a horse designed by a committee

Committees, due to their reliance on several different opinions and viewpoints, produce results that are fragmented, inefficient, or of poor quality, especially compared to the work of a single individual or a small team. A: "Did you see this latest memo? Can you believe the asinine decisions the task force made?" B: "Well, a camel is a horse designed by a committee."

design something for someone

to conceive of something for someone; to draw up plans of something for someone. Ann designed a new kitchen for us. Would you design a book cover for me?
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design something for something

to conceive of something that is to be part of something else; to draw up plans for something that is to be part of something else. The engineers designed a cure for the rattling problem. Bob, the computer programmer, designed a fix for the bug in the program. She designed a system of shelving for the library.
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have designs on someone or something

Fig. to have plans to exploit or somehow take advantage of someone or something. Mrs. Brown has designs on my apple tree. I think she's going to cut off the part that hangs over her fence. Mary has designs on Bill. I think she'll try to date him.
See also: design, have, on

(whether) by accident or design

whether intended to be this way or not The system, whether by accident or design, benefits people who live in the cities more than people who live in the country.
See also: accident, design

more by accident than (by) design

because of luck and not because of skill I kicked the ball and, more by accident than design, it found its way into the net.
See also: accident, design, more

have designs on somebody

to want to have a sexual relationship with someone She suspected that Helen had designs on her husband.
See also: design, have, on

have designs on something

to want to have something and to plan to get it I knew that David had designs on my half of the business.
See also: design, have, on

by design

On purpose, deliberately, as in Whether by luck or by design, his application was accepted. This term, originally put as on design, uses design in the sense of "plan." [First half of 1600s]
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have designs on

Contrive a secret plot or scheme, especially with selfish motives. For example, I think he has designs on my job, or Mary has designs on her sister's boyfriend. This term uses design in the sense of "a crafty plan," a usage dating from about 1700.
See also: design, have, on
References in classic literature ?
The first thing in the morning I sent a polite note to Gentleman Jones, informing him that I had abandoned all idea of exhibiting his likeness to the public in my series of prints, and giving him full permission to inspect every design I made before it went out of the prison.
Sir Edward, I know the motive of your Journey here--You come with the base Design of reproaching me for having entered into an indissoluble engagement with my Laura without your Consent.
asked the impostors of the Emperor's second ambassador; at the same time making the same gestures as before, and talking of the design and colors which were not there.
The sagacious reader will not from this simile imagine these poor people had any apprehension of the design with which Mrs Wilkins was now coming towards them; but as the great beauty of the simile may possibly sleep these hundred years, till some future commentator shall take this work in hand, I think proper to lend the reader a little assistance in this place.
To this woman she imparted what had happened, and the design upon which she was come thither that morning.
For this purpose, after long consideration, I could think of but two ways to preserve them: one was, to find another convenient place to dig a cave underground, and to drive them into it every night; and the other was to enclose two or three little bits of land, remote from one another, and as much concealed as I could, where I might keep about half-a-dozen young goats in each place; so that if any disaster happened to the flock in general, I might be able to raise them again with little trouble and time: and this though it would require a good deal of time and labour, I thought was the most rational design.
As in my present condition there were not really many things which I wanted, so indeed I thought that the frights I had been in about these savage wretches, and the concern I had been in for my own preservation, had taken off the edge of my invention, for my own conveniences; and I had dropped a good design, which I had once bent my thoughts upon, and that was to try if I could not make some of my barley into malt, and then try to brew myself some beer.
After I had thus laid the scheme of my design, and in my imagination put it in practice, I continually made my tour every morning to the top of the hill, which was from my castle, as I called it, about three miles or more, to see if I could observe any boats upon the sea, coming near the island, or standing over towards it; but I began to tire of this hard duty, after I had for two or three months constantly kept my watch, but came always back without any discovery; there having not, in all that time, been the least appearance, not only on or near the shore, but on the whole ocean, so far as my eye or glass could reach every way.
Then he imparted his design concerning Dolly to Miss Miggs, who was taken more deaf than before, when he began; and so remained, all through.
Having brought their conversation to this satisfactory end, they parted: Dennis, to pursue his design, and take another walk about his farm; Miss Miggs, to launch, when he left her, into such a burst of mental anguish (which she gave them to understand was occasioned by certain tender things he had had the presumption and audacity to say), that little Dolly's heart was quite melted.
If I were to plead anything in mitigation of the preposterous fancy that a bad design will sometimes claim to be a good and an expressly religious design, it would be the curious coincidence that it has been brought to its climax in these pages, in the days of the public examination of late Directors of a Royal British Bank.
Eugene, do you design to capture and desert this girl?
He had no remedy in this exigence but to go with the ship, and had a pretty good voyage as far as the Banks (so they call the place where they catch the fish), where, meeting with a French ship bound from France to Quebec, and from thence to Martinico, to carry provisions, he thought he should have an opportunity to complete his first design, but when he came to Quebec, the master of the ship died, and the vessel proceeded no further; so the next voyage he shipped himself for France, in the ship that was burned when we took them up at sea, and then shipped with us for the East Indies, as I have already said.
He came to me one morning (for he lodged among us all the while we were upon the island), and it happened to be just when I was going to visit the Englishmen's colony, at the furthest part of the island; I say, he came to me, and told me, with a very grave countenance, that he had for two or three days desired an opportunity of some discourse with me, which he hoped would not be displeasing to me, because he thought it might in some measure correspond with my general design, which was the prosperity of my new colony, and perhaps might put it, at least more than he yet thought it was, in the way of God's blessing.
If you had pleased, sir," said he, with a world of modesty, and yet great readiness, "to have heard me, you would have found no room to have been displeased, much less to think so hard of me, that I should suggest that you have not had wonderful assistances and deliverances; and I hope, on your behalf, that you are in the way of God's blessing, and your design is exceeding good, and will prosper.