The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Design \De*sign"\, n. [Cf. dessein, dessin.]
1. A preliminary sketch; an outline or pattern of the main
features of something to be executed, as of a picture, a
building, or a decoration; a delineation; a plan.
2. A plan or scheme formed in the mind of something to be
done; preliminary conception; idea intended to be
expressed in a visible form or carried into action;
intention; purpose; -- often used in a bad sense for evil
intention or purpose; scheme; plot.
The vast design and purpos? of the King. --Tennyson.
The leaders of that assembly who withstood the
designs of a besotted woman. --Hallam.
A . . . settled design upon another man's life.
How little he could guess the secret designs of the
3. Specifically, intention or purpose as revealed or inferred
from the adaptation of means to an end; as, the argument
4. The realization of an inventive or decorative plan; esp.,
a work of decorative art considered as a new creation;
conception or plan shown in completed work; as, this
carved panel is a fine design, or of a fine design.
5. (Mus.) The invention and conduct of the subject; the
disposition of every part, and the general order of the
Arts of design, those into which the designing of artistic
forms and figures enters as a principal part, as
architecture, painting, engraving, sculpture.
School of design, one in which are taught the invention and
delineation of artistic or decorative figures, patterns,
and the like.
Syn: Intention; purpose; scheme; project; plan; idea.
Usage: Design, Intention, Purpose. Design has reference
to something definitely aimed at. Intention points to
the feelings or desires with which a thing is sought.
Purpose has reference to a settled choice or
determination for its attainment. "I had no design to
injure you," means it was no part of my aim or object.
"I had no intention to injure you," means, I had no
wish or desire of that kind. "My purpose was directly
the reverse," makes the case still stronger.
Is he a prudent man . . . that lays designs only
for a day, without any prospect to the remaining
part of his life? --Tillotson.
I wish others the same intention, and greater
successes. --Sir W.
It is the purpose that makes strong the vow.