intent

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

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 new owner, a film and television writer from San Francisco, recently bought the house a few months earlier for $3.9 million and has the intent to invest through renting, starting at a price of $30,000 a month. Elizabeth Gulino, House Beautiful, "You Can Rent Paris Hilton's Former Party Pad for a Cool $30,000 a Month," 21 Mar. 2019 The woman, Martha Buendia-Chavarria was indicted in federal court in December of last year on charges including possessing false identity documents with an intent to transfer them. Samantha Schmidt, courant.com, "‘Utter chaos’: ICE arrests 114 workers in immigration raid at Ohio gardening company," 6 June 2018 One statement of intent: There’s no CVT transmission, because Mazda decided CVTs aren’t fun. Ezra Dyer, Popular Mechanics, "The 2019 Popular Mechanics Automotive Excellence Awards," 16 Apr. 2019 The company is intent on driving down launch costs by recycling rocket parts. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. Marcia Dunn, The Seattle Times, "SpaceX launches mega rocket, lands all 3 boosters," 14 Apr. 2019 After school, Mari and Naomi would head with their father to the public tennis courts, where François was intent on turning his daughters into tennis champions. Louisa Thomas, Vogue, "The New Number One: Naomi Osaka Is Playing to Win," 21 Mar. 2019 Democrats are intent on keeping the Senate from voting on any appellate nominations that do not meet the party's specifications. Fox News, "Levin: Democrats and the judicial confirmation process," 24 Sep. 2018 Maybe there was a time when humor could be found in such a brash, violent statement of intent, but not at 4:02 p.m. on a steamy hot afternoon in 2018. Jeff Bogle, Good Housekeeping, "My Daughter's Note from a Friend at School Joked, "I'm Going to Kill You."," 20 Sep. 2018 Seeing friends who are intent on cheering you up is imperative. Alyssa Clough, SELF, "How Not to Be a Jerk to Someone Battling an Injury," 13 Aug. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

As long as eurozone policy makers seem more intent on delivering discipline than prosperity, that looks unlikely to change. Jon Sindreu, WSJ, "Eurozone Squabbles Are a Problem for Stocks, Not Bonds," 22 Oct. 2018 The impasse between North Korea and the United States, with neither side seemingly willing to make any substantive move, has generated widespread skepticism over Trump's claims that Kim is intent on dismantling his nuclear weapons program. Fox News, "North's media say Kim vows nuclear-free Korea amid standoff," 6 Sep. 2018 Not content with just scaring me off, the mutts seem intent on killing me. Andrew Webster, The Verge, "Fallout 76 journal, day 1: welcome to the wasteland," 14 Nov. 2018 Garfield and friends seem intent on leveraging the concepts behind the real-world Magic marketplace—meaning a game that is regularly updated by introducing new, paid cards as opposed to requiring expansions that may render older cards moot. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Valve’s first new game in 5 years, Artifact, coming in November, starting at $20," 1 Aug. 2018 There have been other instances involving airplanes and people intent on snatching them. Robert Gearty, Fox News, "'Suicidal' airline employee plane theft started with flick of a switch, officials say," 11 Aug. 2018 This year the staff revamped all of its check-in, security and prop check procedures in response to last year, when a man with multiple guns and other weapons entered Phoenix Comicon, intent to harm police officers and a celebrity guest. Kellie Hwang, azcentral, "Phoenix Comic Fest 2018: The craziest, coolest things we saw," 24 May 2018 Weeks later, with the Porter matter largely in the rearview mirror, Kelly still was clearly intent on clarifying his role in how the matter was handled. Washington Post, "John Kelly: I have ‘nothing to even consider resigning over’," 2 Mar. 2018 Some appeared to catch her intent right away, watching with hands covering mouths, foreheads wrinkled and tears falling. Washington Post, "Survivor marks 6 minutes of strength and silence at rally," 24 Mar. 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

10 May 2019

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 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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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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