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

Instead, it’s been replaced by wild packs of players intent on ruining my fun. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Red Dead Online’s early hours are full of violence, beauty, and annoying griefers," 27 Nov. 2018 Facebook disavowed any anti-Semitic intent for its agency’s work. Nick Statt, The Verge, "No one at Facebook seems to know who hired a DC opposition research firm," 15 Nov. 2018 The paraphernalia of skulls and guts and ravens are merely a uniform that declares intent. Kelsea Stahler, Teen Vogue, "The Resurgence of Witches in Pop Culture Like Sabrina, AHS "Coven," and "Charmed" Reflects Women in the Real World," 14 Nov. 2018 Although President Trump declared the intent of the United States to leave the Paris Accord in 2017, the earliest possible exit date through official means is November 4, 2020. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "The World Is Utterly Failing to Keep Climate Change Under Control," 5 Sep. 2018 Participating in wellness can mean going a short walk around your neighborhood, taking a quick nap, or finding a minute to breathe with the consciousness and intent to care for and commune with yourself. Tasnim Ahmed, Allure, "I Bought Into the Commercialized Wellness Industry and It Left Me Broke (and Unwell)," 9 Aug. 2018 Thus instructed, there was no reason to believe that there was any sly misdirection, no bitter irony, no mistaking the intent. Robin Givhan, Houston Chronicle, "Nothing else Melania Trump wears will ever matter again," 13 July 2018 While many people tout the weight-loss benefits of the program, that is not actually the intent, said Whole30 co-founder Melissa Hartwig, a certified sports nutritionist. Katie Parsons, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Whole30 diet is all the rage: What you need to know," 13 July 2018 Originalists argue the meaning of the Constitution doesn’t change over time and justices are bound by the original words and intent of the authors. Maureen Groppe, Indianapolis Star, "Sen. Todd Young wants an 'originalist' Supreme Court. What does that mean?," 11 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Clearly, the team are intent on delivering a satisfying story for their fans. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gal Gadot Just Reunited with Wonder Woman Co-Star Chris Pine at Comic-Con," 22 July 2018 The two dozen House Republicans intent on overhauling the nation's immigration system are getting squeezed on all sides. Alex Daugherty And Kate Irby, miamiherald, "Republicans trying to find an immigration compromise get squeezed by Trump," 15 June 2018 Interest in the player is high, however, and once again Italian rivals Napoli are also keen on signing the midfielder - who Spurs are not intent on selling. SI.com, "Report Claims That Inter Are Chasing Fiorentina's Italian International Federico Chiesa," 28 May 2018 Equally intent on brining the Nautilus to bay were twin-engine S2F Trackers from Los Alamitos Naval Air Station. sandiegouniontribune.com, "May 13, 1958: Aboard the Nautilus," 13 May 2018 If investors are intent on selling, that quantity may be little more than a water gun. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "IMF Doesn’t Have the Right Medicine for Argentina," 2 Oct. 2018 Chazelle and his collaborators are intent on conveying the risk in space exploration in a way that feels immediate and real. Bryan Bishop, The Verge, "First Man is one of the most intense space movies of all time," 12 Sep. 2018 Why was John so intent on recapturing Natalie’s pet spider after Camille set it free? Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 4: Something's Rotten in Wind Gap," 30 July 2018 LeDuff's gonzo reporting is nothing if not braggadocious, intent on establishing the author's first-person street-and-barroom cred. Sam Quinones, chicagotribune.com, "A gonzo tour of what ails America," 29 June 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

6 Dec 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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More from Merriam-Webster on intent

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intent

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intent

Spanish Central: Translation of intent

Nglish: Translation of intent for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intent for Arabic Speakers

Comments on intent

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