in·​ten·​tion·​al in-ˈten(t)-shə-nᵊl How to pronounce intentional (audio)
: done by intention or design : intended
intentional damage
: of or relating to epistemological intention
: having external reference
intentionality noun
Choose the Right Synonym for intentional

voluntary, intentional, deliberate, willing mean done or brought about of one's own will.

voluntary implies freedom and spontaneity of choice or action without external compulsion.

a voluntary confession

intentional stresses an awareness of an end to be achieved.

the intentional concealment of vital information

deliberate implies full consciousness of the nature of one's act and its consequences.

deliberate acts of sabotage

willing implies a readiness and eagerness to accede to or anticipate the wishes of another.

willing obedience

Examples of intentional in a Sentence

an intentional and premeditated killing I apologize for the omission of your name from the list. It was not intentional.
Recent Examples on the Web Terrorism not suspected in crash at U.S.-Canada border Authorities are investigating whether a crash yesterday in Niagara Falls, New York — in which a car went airborne, crashed into a border checkpoint at the Rainbow Bridge and set off an explosion — was intentional. Elizabeth Robinson, NBC News, 23 Nov. 2023 The remains show signs of intentional burial, which is one clue that they were sacrificed. Laura Baisas, Popular Science, 22 Nov. 2023 The judge wrote that Tesla would be able to make this argument at trial—which has been delayed—but at this stage, a jury presented with available evidence could reasonably find Tesla guilty of both intentional misconduct and gross negligence. Ashley Belanger, Ars Technica, 22 Nov. 2023 The conviction was really serious, and that was quite intentional. Mark Athitakis, Los Angeles Times, 17 Nov. 2023 What was so interesting about this film was that it was created over the process of a decade—was that intentional? Okla Jones, Essence, 16 Nov. 2023 That means clear orders from the top, plenty of room for customization, and intentional collaboration with team members on in-person days. Jane Thier, Fortune, 12 Nov. 2023 In technical legal terms, Kelly’s lawyers allege that the leaks amounted to negligence, an invasion of his privacy, an intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil theft and civil conspiracy. Bill Donahue, Billboard, 13 Nov. 2023 After her set, Rose sat down with ESSENCE to talk about purpose, intentional messaging, and finding the inner peace to extend grace to oneself. Cierra Black, Essence, 12 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intentional.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of intentional was circa 1677

Dictionary Entries Near intentional

Cite this Entry

“Intentional.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


in·​ten·​tion·​al in-ˈtench-nəl How to pronounce intentional (audio)
: done by intention : not accidental
-ˈtench-nə-lē How to pronounce intentional (audio)

Legal Definition


in·​ten·​tion·​al in-ˈten-chə-nəl How to pronounce intentional (audio)
: done with intent
an intentional tort
intentional discrimination
intentionally adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on intentional

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!