in·ten·tion | \ in-ˈten(t)-shən \

Definition of intention 

1 : a determination to act in a certain way : resolve

3a : what one intends to do or bring about

b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered

4 : a process or manner of healing of incised wounds

5 : concept especially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge

6 intentions plural : purpose with respect to marriage

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Choose the Right Synonym for intention

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 intention in a Sentence

She announced her intention to run for governor. He seemed to think that I was trying to cause problems, but that was never my intention. He bought a dog with the intention of training it to attack intruders. He has good intentions, but his suggestions aren't really helpful.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The Russian state has never interfered and has no intention of interfering in the U.S. elections,’’ Putin’s foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, said Friday. Eric Tucker,, "Moscow accused of US election meddling in indictment," 13 July 2018 The harsh rhetoric suggested that Trump had no intention of patching up relationships bruised by a contentious Group of Seven summit in Canada last month. Gregory Korte, USA TODAY, "Trump blasts Germany as being 'captive to Russia' in tiff over NATO defense spending," 11 July 2018 The two teams immediately behind them in the playoff spot were the Rays, who could not hit, and the Twins, who quite literally had no intention of competing that year. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "Mellinger Minutes: Whit not an All-Star (?), Jeff Long and KU, Chiefs fears, Odom's crossroads," 10 July 2018 The publication has stated that the 2018 Champions League finalists have no intentions of signing the 24-year-old, as Klopp looks to pursue other targets ahead of the coming season., "Report Clarifies Claims of Liverpool's Interest in Juventus Star Paulo Dybala," 10 July 2018 But Ronaldo has no intention of hanging up his boots soon. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Cristiano Ronaldo to Join Italy’s Juventus in $117 Million Deal," 10 July 2018 When Burnhearts opened more than 10 years ago, the owners had every intention of building a patio. Carol Deptolla, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Dining patios proliferate around Milwaukee; a look at some new ones for 2018," 10 July 2018 Board members ultimately opted to keep start times the same in the first year of busing — the 2017-18 school year — with the intention of staggering school start times during following years. Sarah Freishtat, Aurora Beacon-News, "East Aurora union contract expires with no replacement on the table," 3 July 2018 In 2014, a Texas hospital employee pleaded guilty to accessing personal health information with the intention of using it for personal gain. Anne M. Murphy, Laura B. Angelini, STAT, "Criminal prosecution for violating HIPAA: an emerging threat to health care professionals," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'intention.' 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 intention

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Phrases Related to intention

have every intention of

have no intention of

Statistics for intention

Last Updated

1 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for intention

The first known use of intention was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for intention



English Language Learners Definition of intention

: the thing that you plan to do or achieve : an aim or purpose


in·ten·tion | \ in-ˈten-shən \

Kids Definition of intention

1 : a determination to act in a particular way She announced her intention to run for president.

2 : an aim or plan It's his intention to win.


in·ten·tion | \ in-ˈten-chən \

Medical Definition of intention 

1 : a determination to act in a certain way

2 : a process or manner of healing of incised wounds — see first intention, second intention

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in·ten·tion | \ in-ˈten-chən \

Legal Definition of intention 

: something intended : intent the intention of the testator

Note: Intent is more commonly used than intention when speaking technically especially about the criminal and tort concepts of intent (senses 1a and 1b).

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Comments on intention

What made you want to look up intention? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


alleviating pain or harshness

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