in·​ten·​tion | \ in-ˈten(t)-shən How to pronounce intention (audio) \

Definition of intention

1a : what one intends to do or bring about
b : the object for which a prayer, mass, or pious act is offered
2 : a determination to act in a certain way : resolve
3 intentions plural : purpose with respect to marriage
5 : a process or manner of healing of incised wounds
6 : concept especially : a concept considered as the product of attention directed to an object of knowledge

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Affirm shares tanked 10% in July of last year when Bloomberg reported Apple’s intention to launch a pay-later product with Goldman Sachs. Bill Hardekopf, Forbes, 5 May 2022 In short, a small number of students in each grade kept initiating disagreement, presumably with the intention to command respect. Susan Pinker, WSJ, 5 May 2022 However, Russia spent weeks denying any intention of invading Ukraine before finally doing so. Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2022 But after a draft opinion obtained by Politico revealed the Supreme Court’s intention to overturn Roe v. Wade, the overwhelming reaction from corporate leaders was silence. New York Times, 4 May 2022 Mayur Roy, a 31-year-old businessman from Cuttack in Odisha, bought an electric scooter (a two-wheeler) earlier this year, with an intention to move towards a non-polluting mode of transport. Manish Kumar, Quartz, 4 May 2022 Policy makers, who widely signaled their intention to step up the pace of rate increases, are trying to curb the hottest inflation since the early 1980s, when then-chair Paul Volcker drastically raised rates and crushed the economy in the process. Matthew Boesler, Fortune, 4 May 2022 The city’s pro-Russian puppet government had said Kherson would begin using the Russian ruble on May 1, an indication of the Kremlin’s intention to keep its hold on the city permanently, Western military analysts said. Washington Post, 3 May 2022 According to Scott, Humphrey submitted a letter stating his intention to retire. Joseph Flaherty, Arkansas Online, 2 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of intention

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

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Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intention.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for intention


in·​ten·​tion | \ in-ˈten-shən How to pronounce intention (audio) \

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 How to pronounce intention (audio) \

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


in·​ten·​tion | \ in-ˈten-chən How to pronounce intention (audio) \

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).

More from Merriam-Webster on intention

Nglish: Translation of intention for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intention for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about intention


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