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

While his message varies, the intent is consistent, with aggressive attention a key component. Kyle Fredrickson, The Denver Post, "Vic Fangio’s “Death by Inches” more than a catchphrase for Broncos," 5 Sep. 2019 The intent of the voter purge is to remove those who have moved away, passed away or who are merely inactive. cleveland.com, "University Heights Fall Fest set for Oct. 6; Democracy Day is Sept. 9 in Shaker Heights; more: Press Run," 30 Aug. 2019 Apologies are not enough when the true intent was solely to damage and cause harm. CBS News, "MSNBC's Lawrence O'Donnell retracts story on Trump finances after Trump lawyers threaten to sue," 29 Aug. 2019 In June, the governor said the intent of his vetoes was to balance the state budget in two years without reducing the Permanent Fund dividend, raising taxes or spending from savings. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Dunleavy backs ‘incomplete’ $1,600 dividend and stands by most of his June budget vetoes," 20 Aug. 2019 But the intent is to have our last season with a great spinoff. Eric Todisco, PEOPLE.com, "Fox CEO Confirms There Are ‘No Plans’ for Jussie Smollett to Return to Empire," 7 Aug. 2019 So, proper immigration policy will result in more white immigrants even if the intent isn’t to bring in more whites. David French, National Review, "Amy Wax’s Critics Unfairly Smeared Her. But She’s Wrong.," 22 July 2019 First of all, on the part of many LGBTQ people who are open about their identities, there is no intent to deceive. Washington Post, "To some, this queer couple looks straight. For him, that’s okay. But for her, it feels ‘like a lie.’," 23 Aug. 2019 None of this matters, of course, if the Angels and Anaheim strike a deal, which Sidhu has said is the city’s intent. Bill Shaikin, Los Angeles Times, "Angels lease talks: Mayor insists team pays ‘market prices’ for stadium land," 23 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

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 But the Fed — and other central banks for that matter — may not be able to do much to keep bond yields from plunging further if the Trump and Xi administrations are intent on one-upping each other in the trade war. Paul R. La Monica, CNN, "Bond yields are plunging around the globe. How low can they go?," 5 Aug. 2019 Delaney, for his part, seemed intent on being the least likable person on the stage. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "The centrists went after the progressives in night one of the second primary debate," 30 July 2019 Shelton’s unorthodox views and her political pedigree underscore how intent Trump is on pushing the Fed in a new direction. Emily Davies, Washington Post, "‘The Federal Reserve is not your friend’: Trump quest to remake the Fed hinges on Judy Shelton," 23 July 2019 Diaz accepted the Temple head coaching job on Dec. 13 and was intent on leading the Owls program until Richt stunned many by announcing his retirement on Dec. 30. orlandosentinel.com, "2019 College Football Rankings: No. 31 Miami counting on Manny Diaz to help rejuvenate Hurricanes," 23 July 2019 Critics of monitors contend that their public-safety appeal is illusory: If defendants are intent on harming someone or skipping town, the bracelet, which can be easily removed with a pair of scissors, would not stop them. Ava Kofman, ProPublica, "Digital Jail: How Electronic Monitoring Drives Defendants Into Debt," 3 July 2019 Yet given the torment that Iraq has had to endure and the countless civilian and soldier lives lost in the vicious campaign to wipe ISIS from the territorial map, Baghdad appears to be intent on not taking any chances. Fox News, "Iraq handing out thousands of death sentences in hasty trials for ISIS fighters," 8 June 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

17 Sep 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

Comments on intent

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concealment of treason or felony

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