What does intent mean?

Definitions for intent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word intent.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. purpose, intent, intention, aim, designnoun

    an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions

    "his intent was to provide a new translation"; "good intentions are not enough"; "it was created with the conscious aim of answering immediate needs"; "he made no secret of his designs"

  2. intent, purport, spiritadjective

    the intended meaning of a communication

  3. captive, absorbed, engrossed, enwrapped, intent, wrappedadjective

    giving or marked by complete attention to

    "that engrossed look or rapt delight"; "then wrapped in dreams"; "so intent on this fantastic...narrative that she hardly stirred"- Walter de la Mare; "rapt with wonder"; "wrapped in thought"


  1. intentnoun

    The purpose of something that is intended.

  2. intentnoun

    The state of someone's mind at the time of committing an offence.

  3. intentadjective

    Firmly fixed or concentrated on something.

  4. intentadjective


  5. intentadjective

    Unwavering from a course of action.

  6. Etymology: Existing since, from entent or entente, ultimately from intendere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Intentadjective

    Anxiously diligent; fixed with close application.

    Etymology: intentus, Latin.

    Distractions in England made most men intent to their own safety. Charles I .

    When we use but those means which God hath laid before us, it is a good sign that we are rather intent upon God's glory than our own conveniency. Taylor.

    The general himself had been more intent upon his command. Edward Hyde.

    They on their mirth and dance
    Intent. John Milton.

    Of action eager, and intent on thought,
    The chiefs your honourable danger sought. Dryden.

    Were men as intent upon this as on things of lower concernment, there are none so enslaved to the necessities of life, who might not find many vacancies that might be husbanded to this advantage of their knowledge. John Locke.

    Whilst they are intent on one particular part of their theme, they bend all their thoughts to prove or disprove some proposition that relates to that part, without attention to the consequences that may affect another. Isaac Watts.

    Be intent and solicitous to take up the meaning of the speaker. Isaac Watts.

  2. Intentnoun

    A design; a purpose; a drift; a view formed; meaning.

    Etymology: from intend.

    Although the Scripture of God be stored with infinite variety of matter in all kinds, although it abound with all sorts of laws, yet the principal intent of Scripture is to deliver the laws of duties supernatural. Richard Hooker.

    Whereas commandment was given to destroy all places where the Canaanites had served the gods, this precept had reference unto a special intent and purpose, which was that there should be but one place whereunto the people might bring offerings. Richard Hooker.

    Those that accuse him in his intent towards our wives, are a yoke of his discarded men. William Shakespeare, Merry Wives of Windsor.

    I'll urge his hatred more to Clarence;
    And, if I fail not in my deep intent,
    Clarence hath not another day to live. William Shakespeare, R. III.

    There is an incurable blindness caused by a resolution not to see; and, to all intents and purposes, he who will not open his eyes is for the present as blind as he that cannot. South.

    He was a miserable creature to all intents and purposes. Roger L'Estrange, Fables.

    This fury fit for her intent she chose;
    One who delights in wars. John Dryden, Æn.

    The Athenians sent their fleet to Sicily, upon pretence only to assist the Leontines against Syracuse; but with an intent to make themselves masters of that island. Nehemiah Grew.

    Of darkness visible so much be lent,
    As half to shew, half veil the deep intent. Dunciad.


  1. intent

    Intent refers to a person's purpose or plan to carry out a specific action or behavior. It involves mental activity such as reasoning, understanding, willpower, or determination that is aimed at achieving a particular goal or outcome. In a legal context, intent signifies a person's state of mind in undertaking an act with a specific purpose or knowledge.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Intentadjective

    closely directed; strictly attentive; bent; -- said of the mind, thoughts, etc.; as, a mind intent on self-improvement

  2. Intentadjective

    having the mind closely directed to or bent on an object; sedulous; eager in pursuit of an object; -- formerly with to, but now with on; as, intent on business or pleasure

  3. Intentnoun

    the act of turning the mind toward an object; hence, a design; a purpose; intention; meaning; drift; aim

  4. Etymology: [L. intentus, p. p. of intendere. See Intend, and cf. Intense.]

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Intent

    in-tent′, adj. having the mind bent on: fixed with close attention: diligently applied.—n. the thing aimed at or intended: a design: meaning.—n. Inten′tion, a fixing of the mind on any object: fixed direction of mind: the object aimed at: design: purpose.—adjs. Inten′tional, Inten′tioned, with intention: intended: designed.—advs. Inten′tionally, with intention; Intent′ly, in an intent manner.—adj. Inten′tive (Bacon), attentive.—n. Intent′ness.—To all intents and purposes, in every respect.—Well- (or Ill-) intentioned, having good (or ill) designs. [See Intend.]


  1. Intent

    Intent is a start-up media venture dedicated to building the Web’s definitive wellness brand. Intent aims to become a trusted destination for wellness content, a syndication platform, and a branded hub for people seeking to share their intentions - personal, social, spiritual and environmental.

Editors Contribution

  1. intent

    The purpose of what is intended.

    It was both their intent to get married asap as they both wanted to start a family.

    Submitted by MaryC on February 19, 2020  

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'intent' in Nouns Frequency: #2547

How to pronounce intent?

How to say intent in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of intent in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of intent in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1

Examples of intent in a Sentence

  1. New Zealander Phil Blackwood:

    I believe the law says the act must be deliberate, require malice with intent to offend, i have said a number of times, there was no intent.

  2. Steve Maraboli:

    Your seed is your initial intent and it flourishes when your actions reflect that intent."

  3. Brendan Francis:

    If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don't hoard it. Don't dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.

  4. George Santayana:

    Science is nothing but developed perception, interpreted intent, common sense rounded out and minutely articulated.

  5. Brian Bosma:

    What we had hoped for with the bill was a message of inclusion -- inclusion of all religious beliefs, what instead has come out is a message of exclusion and that was not the intent and hopefully not the effect. But to the extent that it is we are intent on righting that.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for intent

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • AbsichtGerman
  • αφοσιωμένος, σκοπός, πρόθεση, προσηλωμένος, επιδίωξη, έμμονοςGreek
  • intención, propósito, concentrado, intentoSpanish
  • نیتPersian
  • aikomus, vakaa, määrätietoinen, keskittynyt, tarkoitusFinnish
  • butéFrench
  • כוונהHebrew
  • ئامانجKurdish
  • consiliumLatin
  • intentieDutch
  • நோக்கம்Tamil
  • ý địnhVietnamese

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