intent

noun
in·tent | \ in-ˈtent \

Definition of intent 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the act or fact of intending : purpose especially : the design or purpose to commit a wrongful or criminal act admitted wounding him with intent

b : the state of mind with which an act is done : volition

2 : a usually clearly formulated or planned intention : aim the director's intent

intent

adjective

Definition of intent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : directed with strained or eager attention : concentrated

2 : having the mind, attention, or will concentrated on something or some end or purpose intent on their work

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Other words from intent

Adjective

intently adverb
intentness noun

Choose the Right Synonym for intent

Noun

intention, intent, purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal mean what one intends to accomplish or attain. intention implies little more than what one has in mind to do or bring about. announced his intention to marry intent suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness. the clear intent of the statute purpose suggests a more settled determination. being successful was her purpose in life design implies a more carefully calculated plan. the order of events came by accident, not design aim adds to these implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing. her aim was to raise film to an art form end stresses the intended effect of action often in distinction or contrast to the action or means as such. willing to use any means to achieve his end object may equal end but more often applies to a more individually determined wish or need. his constant object was the achievement of pleasure objective implies something tangible and immediately attainable. their objective is to seize the oil fields goal suggests something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship. worked years to reach her goals

Examples of intent in a Sentence

Noun

She thinks I'm trying to make things difficult for her, but that's not my intent. The intent of the law is to protect consumers. He was charged with assault with intent to kill.

Adjective

intent on finishing her sculpture in time for the group show he was so intent on his work that he didn't hear the dog bark
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

As written, this ordinance is actually a de-factor zoning change with the capability of creating attached and higher density dwellings contrary to what was the original intent of the development of the existing neighborhood. Connie Yoshimura, Anchorage Daily News, "Anchorage’s new accessory dwelling ordinance makes some big changes in housing rules," 28 June 2018 In addition to the neglect charge, Nicole faces three counts of possession with intent to deliver amphetamine, according to local station WGBA. Harriet Sokmensuer, PEOPLE.com, "Teen Girl with Disabilities Suffered a 'Slow Death' from Her Mother's Neglect, Authorities Allege," 13 June 2018 Whether the intent is to place all furniture on the rug or just the front legs, be sure to leave a few inches between the wall and the rug’s edge to really define the seating area. Kaitlin Clark, Curbed, "Finding a rug that frames your living room perfectly is no easy feat," 13 June 2018 The intent was clear: to remind anyone on the corner of 10th Street and Broadway in downtown Oakland of what the Warriors have built. Connor Letourneau, San Francisco Chronicle, "A dynasty secured," 13 June 2018 Is the intent to make it so that a DOJ conclusion that Cohen and perhaps the President himself violated campaign finance laws won’t look so bad? Paul S. Ryan, Time, "The President’s Pardon Might Be About More Than Dinesh D’Souza. Just Look at Trump’s Own Legal Trouble," 1 June 2018 Her fiance, David Soskin, 43, recently pleaded to felony possession with intent to deliver more than 5,000 grams of marijuana. Amanda Marrazzo, McHenry County, "Woman pleads guilty to role in drug operation connected to raid on McHenry County mansion," 25 May 2018 The intent is to help create a more perfect playlist. Lilly Milman, Billboard, "Gracenote Launches Hyper-Specific Music Descriptor System Sonic Style," 23 May 2018 Stylish intent is at the center of everything Sean Pablo does. Noah Johnson, GQ, "Sean Pablo Talks High Water Pants, His New Converse Skate Shoe, and the Next Supreme Video," 9 May 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

President Emmanuel Macron of France arrived Monday at the White House for the first state visit of Trump’s presidency, intent on using his unusual bond with the US president to try to persuade him to preserve the Iran deal, at least for now. Peter Baker And Julie Hirschfeld Davis, BostonGlobe.com, "Macron will urge Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal," 24 Apr. 2018 The Trump administration, intent on bolstering the ailing fleet of nuclear plants, has promised $3.7 billion in new loan guarantees for the pair of nuclear reactors. Dino Grandoni, Washington Post, "The Energy 202: Budget deal picks winners and losers in energy industry," 9 Feb. 2018 Nobody was too sure of the reasons why, but Colombia's tactic of trying to tick England off had backfired, and all the South American outfit seemed intent on doing was picking up bookings. SI.com, "It's Coming Home! Twitter Reacts as England Win a Bloody Penalty Shootout at the World Cup," 3 July 2018 Congressional lawmakers are intent on urging President Donald Trump and his administration to closely examine Sprint’s proposed merger with T-Mobile due to the former’s ties to the Chinese government, according to a report from Bloomberg. Nick Statt, The Verge, "Sprint’s ties to Chinese firm Huawei could complicate T-Mobile merger," 3 July 2018 The government has accused the activists of being armed separatists intent on destabilizing the country. Fox News, "Cameroon sentences Anglophone activists on terror charges," 26 May 2018 Now, with Brown healthy and doctors clearing him to step up his workouts, Larrañaga said the 6-foot-5 guard is intent on continuing his training ahead of the draft. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, Sun-Sentinel.com, "UM's Bruce Brown to hire agent ahead of NBA Draft," 9 Apr. 2018 Across the classroom, one of those diverse inmates is intent on her assignment, a face done in the cubist style. Peter Rowe, sandiegouniontribune.com, "Echo Yard, where normal prison rules no longer apply," 8 Apr. 2018 The party has also seized on the trade dispute as new evidence that the United States is intent on undermining China’s rise as a global power, a central narrative used to justify the party’s, and Mr. Xi’s, rule. Steven Lee Myers, New York Times, "Why China Is Confident It Can Beat Trump in a Trade War," 5 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intent.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of intent

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Adjective

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for intent

Noun

Middle English entente, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin intentus, from Latin, act of stretching out, from intendere

Adjective

Latin intentus, from past participle of intendere

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Statistics for intent

Last Updated

13 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intent

The first known use of intent was in the 13th century

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More Definitions for intent

intent

noun

English Language Learners Definition of intent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose

intent

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of intent (Entry 2 of 2)

: showing concentration or great attention

intent

noun
in·tent | \ in-ˈtent \

Kids Definition of intent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : what someone plans to do or accomplish : purpose Upsetting her was not my intent.

2 : meaning sense 2 What is the author's intent?

intent

adjective

Kids Definition of intent (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : showing concentration or great attention an intent gaze

2 : showing great determination They were intent on going.

Other words from intent

intently adverb I listened intently.

intent

noun
in·tent | \ in-ˈtent \

Legal Definition of intent 

1 : the act or fact of intending: as

a : the design or purpose to commit a wrongful or criminal act

called also criminal intent

— compare knowledge, mens rea, motive, negligence

b : the purpose to commit a tortious act having consequences that the actor desires and believes or knows will occur

constructive intent

: intent that is inferred to exist (as from willfulness or recklessness) in relation to an act

criminal intent
general intent

: intent to perform an illegal act without the desire for further consequences or a precise result there was a general intent to assault but not to kill

specific intent

: intent to perform an illegal act with the knowledge or purpose that particular results will or may ensue assaulted him with specific intent to kill

transferred intent

1 : intent attributed to a person who intends to cause another harm when the harm is accidentally inflicted on an unintended victim

2 : a doctrine in tort and criminal law: a wrongdoer who causes harm to a person other than the one intended may nevertheless be held to have intended the harmful result

2a : intendment — see also legislative intent

b : the purpose of a document (as a contract or will)

c : the aim or goal of a person in creating a document or taking an action the court's attempt to fulfill the donor's intent the intent of the contracting parties implied by their language — see also original intent

with intent

: with the intent to commit another sometimes specified crime entered the apartment with intent to commit theft therein a drug dealer charged with possession with intent

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Comments on intent

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