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

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

According to KGW’s report, one of the drivers had been in prison for felony assault with intent to murder, and worked for Lyft for more than a year. oregonlive, "168 Uber and Lyft drivers have records that should have precluded hiring, KGW reports," 17 Sep. 2019 Asking officials to assess the intent behind an upper-body blow is asking for trouble. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "Targeting rule takes a toll on Kentucky, exasperates coach Mark Stoops in loss to Florida," 15 Sep. 2019 For a fraction of a second on Saturday, Mitchell looked the part, pulling down his third touchdown reception with flair and intent in the corner of the end zone during FAU’s 41-31 win over Ball State at Scheumann Stadium. Rich Torres, sun-sentinel.com, "John Mitchell (3 TDs) keys Owls’ passing game vs. Ball State," 14 Sep. 2019 Dismuke is being charged as an adult and also is charged with assault with intent to murder. Detroit Free Press, "3 teens face murder charges in Dearborn woman's death," 13 Sep. 2019 Huffhines, who is not yet formally charged, faces multiple felony charges: manufacturing/delivering THC, possession with intent to sell, maintaining a drug trafficking place and misappropriation of personal identifying materials. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Wisconsin man ran a drug ring that filled up to 5,000 bootleg vaping cartridges per day, police say," 12 Sep. 2019 Everything is made with love and the intent to inspire Black women to prioritize their health. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "Dr. Sebi's Daughter Kelli Bowman Gives 5 Tips For Black Women To Get Healthier," 12 Sep. 2019 Yet this focus on the Framers’ intent was not a legal analysis; Taney was relying not on the Constitution’s words but on the (alleged) beliefs of its authors — a point Frederick Douglass seized upon in his speech on the Dred Scott ruling. Timothy Sandefur, National Review, "The Anti-Slavery Constitution," 12 Sep. 2019 What was the challenge defending Harris against involuntary manslaughter that put the burden on proving negligence rather than intent? Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Ghost Ship Attorney on His Client's Acquittal, Defending One of 'the Most Hated People in America'," 11 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

Boasting talent such as Jadon Sancho and Marco Reus, Dortmund pushed Bayern all the way in Germany last season, and seem intent on doing the same this year. SI.com, "10 of the Best Group Stage Games to Look Forward to in This Season's Champions League," 30 Aug. 2019 Trump and his oil business cronies seem intent on rolling back commonsense gas mileage standards. Letters To The Editor, The Mercury News, "Letter: Kudos to state for blocking Trump’s auto emission rollbacks," 25 Aug. 2019 Pro-Brexit voters seem intent on punishing Mrs. May and her party for failing to deliver Brexit on schedule on March 29. Stephen Fidler, WSJ, "Voters Prepare to Punish U.K. Leader in European Vote Over Brexit Delay," 13 May 2019 Some students strove for excellence while others seemed intent on disruption. Stacey Curran, BostonGlobe.com, "To my ex-students: Of course I remember you," 6 Sep. 2019 The £28m spent of Christian Benteke and the £8m spent on Alexander Sorloth have both been questioned by Palace fans in the past, and Freedman seems intent on improving the club's record in the transfer market. SI.com, "Dougie Freedman Reveals Why Crystal Palace Didn't Reinvest Aaron Wan-Bissaka Cash This Summer," 16 Aug. 2019 Several on the Detroit stage seemed intent on appealing to a particular kind of Midwestern audience, one that included some Midwesterners but not others. Anna North, Vox, "The first round of Democratic debates courted female voters. The second is ignoring them.," 1 Aug. 2019 Meanwhile, Rush repeatedly warned that royal ministers were intent upon oppressing all Americans. Stephen Brumwell, WSJ, "‘Rush’ and ‘Dr. Benjamin Rush’ Review: American Hippocrates," 20 Sep. 2018 And that is really important in this time where people are so intent on being divided and spreading hate. Kathryn Shattuck, New York Times, "After ‘Game of Thrones,’ Nathalie Emmanuel Is Ready to Take the Lead," 9 Aug. 2019

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

11 Oct 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

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