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

The initial contract term is 14 months, through Sept. 15, 2019, with an intent to renew it for two years after that, subject to agreeable terms and conditions. Lynn Horsley, kansascity, "The vote was unanimous: She’s now Johnson County’s new manager," 12 July 2018 In 2010, Welter, a Valparaiso native now living in Three Oaks, purchased an 1800s factory with the intent of opening up a whiskey distillery. Amy Lavalley, Post-Tribune, "Michigan distillery's wastewater hurdles, growth on minds as plans in Valparaiso continue," 13 July 2018 Each defendant was charged with assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest and throwing objects at a vehicle with the intent to cause great bodily injury, authorities said. James Queally, latimes.com, "Seven charged with assaulting police during L.A. street racing incident," 2 July 2018 William Bartram’s garden in Philadelphia and William Prince’s Linnaean Botanic Garden in Flushing, Queens, both predated the Elgin, but both had commercial intent — their gardens supported nurseries in the business of selling plants. Marta Mcdowell, New York Times, "Deep Below Rockefeller Center Lies a Legendary Botanical Garden," 25 June 2018 The children affected by this new policy, the intent of which appears to be to deter families from seeking asylum in the U.S., include toddlers who can’t communicate their needs or process complex emotions. Elaine Murphy, Teen Vogue, "How Family Separation at the Border Impacts Children," 20 June 2018 Not all barriers have protectionist intent; other countries have plenty of them, too. The Economist, "How open is America?," 14 June 2018 Typically, a caregiver plans to keep the child in the car for only a few minutes to run an errand and has no malicious intent. Maritza Moulite, CNN, "37 US children die in hot cars each year, report says," 12 June 2018 The latest obstruction charges bolster Mueller’s case by laying out the argument that Manafort had corrupt intent to hide his activities, according to former prosecutors. Fortune, "Robert Mueller's Latest Indictment Bolsters His Case Against Trump Campaign Chair," 9 June 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

11 Oct 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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lying above or upon

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