in·​ten·​tion·​al | \in-ˈtench-nəl, -ˈten(t)-shə-nᵊl\

Definition of intentional 

1 : done by intention or design : intended intentional damage

2a : of or relating to epistemological intention

b : having external reference

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Other Words from intentional

intentionality \ in-​ˌten(t)-​shə-​ˈna-​lə-​tē \ noun
intentionally \ in-​ˈtench-​nə-​lē , -​ˈten(t)-​shə-​nᵊl-​ē \ adverb

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

If there was any loaded message, intentional or not, about decorating the Petit Palais with a bunch of (stuffed) peacocks, no one seemed to care. Vogue, "Inside the 150th Anniversary of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture," 5 July 2018 Whether intentional or not, Farage’s statements likely helped briefly drive the pound higher just before reality sunk in, and short-sellers made a lot of money. Alan Murray, Fortune, "China Trade War Latest, GE and Advent: CEO Daily for June 25, 2018," 25 June 2018 Since 1992, 84 percent of all fires were ignited by human action — intentional or otherwise. Angela Fritz, Washington Post, "Wildfires are igniting across the Mountain West, and the weather is not helping," 12 June 2018 Rue Landau, executive director of the human relations commission, said the commission had been conducting an investigation to determine if Catholic Social Services’ policies and practices have intentional or unintentional discriminatory effects. Julie Shaw,, "Catholic Social Services, foster parents sue city, DHS," 18 May 2018 Consumers are now, often unconsciously, sorting every media product—from podcasts to magazine stories to video—into three categories: intentional, interstitial, and invisible. Daniel H. Pink, The Atlantic, "The Future of Television Is Being Able to Pick Shows by Length," 11 June 2018 The confession was back in: 2000 INTERROGATION: MICHAEL LEBRUN: My killing Andy Muns was not intentional. Jonathan Leach, CBS News, "NCIS agents vow to solve "unsolvable" cold case and restore a sailor's honor," 29 May 2018 The company, which did not contest the fine, said the errors were not intentional. Wendy Lee, San Francisco Chronicle, "Facebook’s CEO fields questions from European Parliament," 22 May 2018 Another fight has been over a 2013 regulation that holds that to demonstrate that a policy is discriminatory one must only show that its results disproportionately affect one group of people—even if the discrimination wasn’t intentional. Laura Kusisto, WSJ, "HUD Drops Obama-Era Tool Aimed at Enforcing Fair Housing Law," 18 May 2018

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

circa 1677, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for intentional

The first known use of intentional was circa 1677

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More Definitions for intentional



English Language Learners Definition of intentional

: done in a way that is planned or intended


in·​ten·​tion·​al | \in-ˈten-shə-nəl \

Kids Definition of intentional

: done in a deliberate way : not accidental an intentional error

Other Words from intentional

intentionally adverb


in·​ten·​tion·​al | \in-ˈten-chə-nəl \

Legal Definition of intentional 

: done with intent an intentional tort intentional discrimination

Other Words from intentional

intentionally adverb

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Comments on intentional

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


to express warning or disapproval

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