[ in-ten-shuh n ]
/ ɪnˈtɛn ʃən /


intensification; increase in degree.
intensity; high degree.
relative intensity; degree.
exertion of the mind; determination.
Logic. (of a term) the set of attributes belonging to all and only those things to which the given term is correctly applied; connotation; comprehension.Compare extension(def 12).

Nearby words

  1. intense,
  2. intensely,
  3. intensification,
  4. intensifier,
  5. intensify,
  6. intensional,
  7. intensional object,
  8. intensitometer,
  9. intensity,
  10. intensive

Origin of intension

First recorded in 1595–1605, intension is from the Latin word intēnsiōn- (stem of intēnsiō). See intense, -ion

Related formsin·ten·sion·al, adjectivein·ten·sion·al·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for intensional


/ (ɪnˈtɛnʃənəl) /


logic (of a predicate) incapable of explanation solely in terms of the set of objects to which it is applicable; requiring explanation in terms of meaning or understandingCompare extensional See also opaque context, Electra paradox
Derived Formsintensionally, adverb


/ (ɪnˈtɛnʃən) /


  1. the set of characteristics or properties by which the referent or referents of a given word are determined: thus, the intension of marsupial is the set containing the characteristics suckling its young and having a pouchCompare extension (def. 11a)
  2. Compare subjective intension
a rare word for intensity, determination
a rare word for intensificationSee intensification
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for intensional



c.1600, from Latin intensionem (nominative intensio) "a stretching, straining, effort," noun of action from past participle stem of intendere (see intend).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper