Synonym Chooser

How does the noun intention contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of intention are aim, design, end, goal, intent, objective, object, and purpose. While all these words 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

When is aim a more appropriate choice than intention?

The synonyms aim and intention are sometimes interchangeable, but aim adds to these implications of effort directed toward attaining or accomplishing.

her aim was to raise film to an art form

When can design be used instead of intention?

The words design and intention are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, design implies a more carefully calculated plan.

the order of events came by accident, not design

Where would end be a reasonable alternative to intention?

Although the words end and intention have much in common, 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

When would goal be a good substitute for intention?

In some situations, the words goal and intention are roughly equivalent. However, goal suggests something attained only by prolonged effort and hardship.

worked years to reach her goals

When is it sensible to use intent instead of intention?

While in some cases nearly identical to intention, intent suggests clearer formulation or greater deliberateness.

the clear intent of the statute

How are the words object and end related as synonyms of intention?

Object may equal end but more often applies to a more individually determined wish or need.

his constant object was the achievement of pleasure

In what contexts can objective take the place of intention?

The words objective and intention can be used in similar contexts, but objective implies something tangible and immediately attainable.

their objective is to seize the oil fields

When might purpose be a better fit than intention?

While the synonyms purpose and intention are close in meaning, purpose suggests a more settled determination.

being successful was her purpose in life

Thesaurus Entries Near intention

Cite this Entry

“Intention.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

More from Merriam-Webster on intention

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