design(redirected from designing)
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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?
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.
Deliberately and purposefully; as one planned or intended. I assure you that everything you saw has happened 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.
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.
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."
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?
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.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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]
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.
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.
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.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012
have designs onaim 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.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
(whether) by ˌaccident or deˈsignif 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.
have deˈsigns on somebody/somethingintend 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