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 impetus for the meetings over the last several months is the Airport Authority’s intent to significantly expand the aging Terminal 1. San Diego Union-Tribune, "$500M pledged to bring transit, major road improvements to San Diego airport — with help from airlines," 2 July 2019 They also were convicted of possession with intent to distribute narcotics, using a firearm in a drug-trafficking crime and being a felon in possession of a firearm. ExpressNews.com, "San Antonio jury convicts pair in Mexican Mafia organized crime case," 2 July 2019 He was indicted in March on four counts, including possession with intent to distribute 20kg of cocaine. Doha Madani, NBC News, "Alleged organizer in David Ortiz shooting arrested in Dominican Republic," 28 June 2019 But viability and burden are somewhat vague concepts and can be interpreted in restrictive or lax ways depending on the lawmaker’s intent. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Elizabeth Warren says abortion access should be a federal law. What does that mean?," 26 June 2019 The jury found Nieto responsible for Correa’s death in addition to finding that Nieto conspired to distribute or possess with intent to distribute at least five kilograms of cocaine as part of the racketeering conspiracy, the release said. Post-tribune Staff, Post-Tribune, "Gary gang member, 45, sentenced to life in prison," 13 June 2019 The order marked another defeat to President Donald Trump’s intent to radically alter U.S. immigration policies. Brian Melley, The Seattle Times, "Court won’t immediately stop wait-in-Mexico asylum policy," 13 Apr. 2019 Setting aside Biden’s intent, his line of defense speaks volumes. Glamour, "What Lucy Flores Can Teach Us About How We Value Women’s Feelings," 3 Apr. 2019 With this deal, the Magic’s intent appears to be to add another point guard. Josh Robbins, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Magic on verge of getting Timofey Mozgov, Jerian Grant for Bismack Biyombo in 3-team trade," 8 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

There was, moreover, a chilled feeling, as if everyone were so intent on executing Mr. Muti’s exacting vision to the split second that spontaneity had been banned. Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, "Review: Details Matter in Riccardo Muti’s Precise ‘Aida’," 23 June 2019 Here’s what that intent looks like today: The Warriors have six women in vice president or higher positions, three of whom have been hired in the past three months. Rusty Simmons, SFChronicle.com, "Warriors among leaders in hiring women execs, but ‘still a lot of work to be done’," 9 June 2019 In one Oak Cliff home the family was clustered about the living room with all lights on, doors and windows open, everyone in sleeping clothes, too intent on listening to the radio to worry about appearances. Dallas News, "D-Day as Dallas lived it," 6 June 2019 Gladbach, though, are also intent on signing the player, and their attempts are understood to have left the Merseyside outfit furious. SI.com, "Liverpool Cancel Friendly With German Side Following Transfer Dispute Over Attacking Starlet," 19 May 2018 In the 24 hours The Post spent with Arenas, he was alternately engaged and anxious, intent on promoting his music and his case on social media, but worried about the future, which seemed to be hurtling toward him. William Booth, Washington Post, "‘To prison for singing?’ Spanish rappers to serve time for their lyrics.," 18 Mar. 2018 But for wines that will evolve and develop nuance and complexity over time, vintage can be crucial to their personality — though not as important as the skill, intent and conscientiousness of the producer. Eric Asimov, New York Times, "Come for the Values, Stay (or Leave) for the Vintage," 1 Mar. 2018 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

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

5 Jul 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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