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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. By accident or design, that new horror movie isn't even scary. Maybe they wanted to ensure it had a PG rating. All that matters is that you somehow solved the problem—who cares if it was by accident or design?
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." I think we need to make the board of trustees smaller, not larger. Remember, a camel is a horse designed by a committee. In reading your proposal, I was reminded of the axiom "a camel is a horse designed by a committee." That's why I want one of you—just one of you—to rewrite it, with a clear focus and coherent voice this time.
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. © 2022 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 role of usability research in designing children's computer products.
Powell of the General Electric Corporate Research and Development Center in Schenectady, N.Y., and his colleagues have developed just such a tool for engineers involved in designing mechanical components, from simple cooling fans to fuel-efficient aircraft turbine engines.
The supplier was chosen to develop the vehicle as a result of the tight 20-month development target outlined by Fiat's hard-charging CEO, Sergio Marchionne, who himself convinced Stephenson that designing Fiats would be a prized career move.
Although the technology exists for this range of use, the skills for designing content so that it can be stored in chunks and presented in a personalized way are significantly different from those for designing content intended to be read from beginning to end.
in Southfield, Michigan, an automotive supplier that put him to work designing auto seats and door panels.
Idealized design begins with starting from scratch, or designing something from the very beginning in a process of re-creation.
In spite of it all however, black designers continue to strive and achieve--quietly designing outstanding corporate and residential interiors, constructing buildings, weaving extraordinary textiles, and creating couture fashion collections and new products, in addition to, designing award-winning magazines, and producing trend setting online/multimedia and environmental graphics.
Long-experienced in the Alzheimer's design field, and author of the recently published Designing for Alzheimer's Disease, she notes that the role of design is to support efforts essential to helping cognitively impaired residents retain maximum independence and dignity.
From an Instructional Systems Design standpoint, the considerations in designing the Learning Page were:
Herb Lubalin, who designed a number of beautiful magazines, said in an interview that he didn't think it was possible for editors to do their own designing. "They're bad enough as editors."
Spacesmith has made its mark in Manhattan designing interiors, but in past years and over the last few months in particular, the architecture firm is starting to gain notice for the amount of other assignments it has taken on, from drafting master plans for educational institutions to designing buildings from the ground up, all while further broadening the scope of its interior design work.
Even if the thought of designing door handles for the rest of my life didn't excite me ..."
LS Group, one of Europe's largest high performance door and doorset producers, has published a technical guide to help designers make informed choices and achieve compliance with regulations and standards when designing with doors.
The newly available computer-based technologies such as casting process simulation, computational optimization of casting design and optimization of casting processes will alter the designing environment.
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