design

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(whether) by accident or design

Intentionally or not. Whether by accident or design, those high school kids have really created a solid, sustainable business.
See also: accident, by, design

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."
See also: by, camel, committee, design, horse

by design

Deliberately and purposefully; as one planned or intended. I assure you that everything you saw has happened by design.
See also: by, design

design (something) for (someone or something)

To create, devise, or plan something for someone or something. I asked our top graphic artist to design the visual component for this ad campaign.
See also: design

have designs on (someone or something)

To pursue someone or something, often for selfish reasons. I don't trust him because I think he has designs on my job. He said he has designs on Karen, but I don't think he has a chance with her.
See also: design, have, on

more by accident than (by) design

Due more to coincidence or luck than to one's own skill or planning. To be honest, I feel like the massive popularity of the app is more by accident than by design. A: "This stew is delicious!" B: "Thanks, but it's really more by accident than design."
See also: accident, by, design, more
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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?
See also: design

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.
See also: design

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

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]
See also: by, design

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
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

have designs on something

If someone has designs on something, they want it and are planning to get it. The team has designs on a place in the Football League, and have a new stand rising at their Kingfield ground. Most observers believe that he has his own designs on power.
See also: design, have, on, something

have designs on someone

If one person has designs on another, the first person wants to have a sexual relationship with the second. The colonel had designs on Greg's wife.
See also: design, have, on, someone
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

have designs on

aim to obtain something desired, especially in an underhand way.
2003 Economist Hardliners…think America has designs on its oil, and will act against Iran once it has disposed of Saddam Hussein.
See also: design, have, on
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

(whether) by ˌaccident or deˈsign

if you say that something happens by accident or design, you mean that you do not know if it has been planned or not: Mary was wearing the same T-shirt as me — whether by accident or design, I never knew.
See also: accident, by, design

have deˈsigns on somebody/something

intend to take somebody/something for yourself, for example a job or a person who you find sexually attractive: Several people have got designs on the office manager’s post.I think she’s got designs on you, Peter.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
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References in periodicals archive ?
The first model data, its inputs and outputs chosen designable region, nondesignable and lumped masses was applied to 2D model [13].
A simple, compact designable balun structure is needed for MMIC DBMs that does not require any features on the backside of the substrate.
CHC caters to its customers with designable frames, an easy-to-navigate and award-winning diplomaframe.com e-commerce site, and excellent customer service.
Japanese engineers rapidly perceived that the fuzzy controllers were easily designable and in most cases, they can be used.
The same backward running adjoint simulation is used for the calculation of the objective function sensitivities with respect to all the designable parameters.
Duan et al., "Designable fabrication of flower-like SnS2 aggregates with excellent performance in lithium-ion batteries," RSC Advances, vol.
We believe PP--additive interactions and additive characteristics are most fundamental and essential aspects of hydrophilic surface creation, so different chemical structures of melt additives may be most significant and designable aspects of this process (20).
The essential thing is, these are completely designable atomic structures,'" said Alexander E.
He said that while "plastics are the most designable materials available ...
The premier doctrine of current software engineering methodology is that high-level requirements, the kind you get from paying customers, can be correctly transformed into detailed requirements by recursive decomposition, with each new level of detail revealing the next until a designable specification emerges.