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, for

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, for

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, for

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 outdoor walkways are designed so that if residents exit into the garden, they can either stroll on the sidewalk, using a handrail, or they can walk on any of the grassy areas if they wish.
If a component has been designed with a heavy section that has been cored, ribs may be added for strength and to achieve a uniform wall thickness.
Since the very start, this magazine has been predicated on the simple idea that the way things come to be in this industry is that first they are Designed, then Engineered, then Produced.
Chai: upholstered conference/desk chair, designed by the firm.
Based on that concept, the architect designed a unit that eliminates the traditional long corridor that ends at a staff work station.
The main office street, designed as a social space that brings the airline together, is cheerfully noisy, surprisingly bright and lively, with whole cafes ringing with busy and animated conversations on every side.
"The 8th through 11th floors were designed with a raised floor to accommodate the dot-corn industry, however in the end, management realized that it might not be a good idea to rely on that industry and decided to market the space to childrenswear tenants.
Federal Aviation Administration that will allow castings to be designed without a casting factor.
The colours include hot oranges, reds and browns, and the spiky forms from earlier 'Energy and Icon' installations have moved into the designed landscape.
The orientation of the Winter House and the Summer House are each designed to best take advantage of the seasonal sun and wind angles.
Molds are designed on Unigraphics or ProEngineer CAD software and built using machining or EDM manufacturing methods.
However, runner systems must be specifically designed for the filters they incorporate.
A second tower, adjacent to the Athenee Residence, will be designed and constructed in a later phase scheduled to begin in late 2005.
Precision injection molds designed and built for pharmaceutical, aerospace, electronics, optical, telecommunications, appliance, automotive, and packaging industries using CNC machinery.