intent

noun
in·​tent | \ in-ˈtent How to pronounce intent (audio) \

Definition of intent

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

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 Beiler said the current book of business for the Hamilton facility, which is made up of letters-of-intent, is looking good. Wayne Baker, The Enquirer, "Spooky Nook conducts update tour and announces its first tenant, Municipal Brew Works," 1 May 2021 Another sticking point concerns the criminal intent standard for prosecuting a law enforcement officer. Trish Turner, Allison Pecorin, ABC News, "Policing reform legislation gets renewed push on Capitol Hill," 29 Apr. 2021 The Class of 2020 received about $12.1 million in college scholarships, with 14 athletes signing letters of intent for $1.5 million in scholarships -- 10 football, two track and one each for basketball and swimming. Thomas Jewell, cleveland, "CH-UH ‘State of Our Schools’ puts some perspective, distance on year of the pandemic," 26 Apr. 2021 More than 90 people have been killed by police in Washington since voters passed I-940 in 2018, removing proof of malicious intent from the process of prosecuting police brutality cases. Tim Gruver, Washington Examiner, "Washington state lawmakers strengthen 'duty to intervene' laws as calls for police reform continue," 22 Apr. 2021 Now a senior at UMS-Wright, Maddux Bruns has signed a national letter-of-intent to play college baseball at Mississippi State and also is moving up many of the Major League draft prediction boards. Ben Thomas | Bthomas@al.com, al, "The story behind UMS star pitcher Maddux Bruns’ name, increase in velocity," 20 Apr. 2021 First, assessments of adversarial intent should be based not on sentimentality or political rhetoric, but cold calculations of power. WSJ, "The Lessons That Stuck This Year," 20 Apr. 2021 But works by Black creators (such as the recent Netflix sci-fi short film Two Distant Strangers) invite more speculation about what social critique their creators are attempting to convey, and on whose behalf, regardless of authorial intent. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "Who Wants to Watch Black Pain?," 17 Apr. 2021 As currently written, the House version requires only a 10-day notice of intent to sue. Ron Hurtibise, sun-sentinel.com, "Insurance reform proposals could hurt consumers, critics say," 16 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Biden is spending time listening to Republicans and voicing a willingness to consider their ideas, but Democrats are intent on passing a major infrastructure boost this year with or without GOP support. Kevin Freking And Lisa Mascaro, chicagotribune.com, "Countering Biden, a group of Senate Republicans pitch $568 billion for infrastructure," 22 Apr. 2021 Marketers are intent on using data to precisely target consumers and determine campaigns’ effectiveness, particularly as consumers spend more time and make more purchases on online platforms. Sahil Patel, WSJ, "You & Mr Jones Forms New Media Division Led by Former Mindshare CEO Nick Emery," 21 Apr. 2021 Push to abandon the wall With little clarity as to the status of the wall or timetable for an announcement, Democrats and activists are intent on keeping Biden to his campaign commitment to stop construction. Benjamin Siegel, ABC News, "After pledging not to build up Trump's border wall, Biden's intentions remain unclear," 20 Apr. 2021 The result is the ultimate escape cut from a rap group that was intent on offering something different. Troy L. Smith, cleveland, "200 greatest hip-hop songs of all time," 13 Apr. 2021 But white neighbors were intent on dismantling the community. Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times, "What Kristine Hostetter’s Story Says About Orange County," 13 Apr. 2021 The Spurs were intent on getting DeRozan the last look, come hell, high water or double team.. Jeff Mcdonald, San Antonio Express-News, "Spurs hope DeMar DeRozan's game-winner is a turning point," 12 Apr. 2021 Rachel Allen has already earned one state championship medal, and now the Midlothian Heritage senior is intent on another. Greg Riddle, Dallas News, "Girls playoff soccer roundup: Frisco Wakeland defeats state No. 1 Highland Park in overtime," 10 Apr. 2021 In fact, the Biden tax plan shows the U.S. is intent on competing, but with direct subsidies rather than sound tax policies. Fortune, "Janet Yellen’s corporate minimum tax plan won’t work. Why? Just look at OPEC," 8 Apr. 2021

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 2a

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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Time Traveler for intent

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for intent

Last Updated

6 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intent.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/intent. Accessed 6 May. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce intent (audio) \

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 How to pronounce intent (audio) \

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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