View synonyms for intent



[ in-tent ]


  1. something that someone is intending or meaning to do or achieve; purpose or objective:

    The committee's original intent was to raise funds.

  2. the act or fact of meaning to do something:

    Any identified individual found to have violated this rule with intent will be suspended from all participation in the forum.

    Synonyms: plot, plan, aim

  3. Law. the state of a person's mind that directs their actions toward a specific object:

    He was arrested for possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

  4. the meaning or significance of something said, written, or done:

    I think this summary captures the intent of her lengthy speech.

    It’s difficult to understand the intent of your actions—please explain.



[ in-tent ]


  1. firmly or steadfastly fixed or directed, as the eyes or mind:

    an intent gaze.

    Synonyms: concentrated

  2. having the attention sharply focused or fixed on something:

    intent on one's job.

    Synonyms: concentrated

  3. determined or resolved; having the mind or will fixed on some goal:

    intent on revenge.

    Synonyms: set, resolute

    Antonyms: vacillating, undecided, indecisive, irresolute

  4. an intent person.


/ ɪnˈtɛnt /


  1. something that is intended; aim; purpose; design
  2. the act of intending
  3. law the will or purpose with which one does an act
  4. implicit meaning; connotation
  5. to all intents and purposes
    for all practical purposes; virtually


  1. firmly fixed; determined; concentrated

    an intent look

  2. postpositive; usually foll by on or upon having the fixed intention (of); directing one's mind or energy (to)

    intent on committing a crime

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • inˈtentness, noun
  • inˈtently, adverb
Discover More

Other Words From

  • in·tent·ly adverb
  • in·tent·ness noun
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of intent1

First recorded in 1175–1225; Middle English, from Late Latin intentus “an aim, purpose,” from Latin intentus “a stretching out,” equivalent to inten(dere) + -tus suffix of verbal action; replacing Middle English entent(e), from Old French, from Late Latin, as above; intend

Origin of intent2

First recorded in 1600–10; from Latin intentus “taut, intent,” past participle of intendere “to aim at” ( intend ); intense
Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of intent1

C13 (in the sense: intention): from Late Latin intentus aim, intent, from Latin: a stretching out; see intend
Discover More

Idioms and Phrases

  1. to / for all intents and purposes, for all practical purposes; practically speaking; virtually:

    The book is, to all intents and purposes, a duplication of earlier efforts.

More idioms and phrases containing intent

see to all intents and purposes .
Discover More

Synonym Study

Discover More

Example Sentences

Both firms extensively invest in Opportunity Zone businesses that hold to the original intent of the OZ legislation.

From Fortune

Whatever you do, don’t call Red Ventures an intent media company.

From Digiday

The post Google custom audiences, the combo of custom affinity and custom intent audiences, now live appeared first on Search Engine Land.

Any existing custom intent or custom affinity audiences you have will automatically be migrated into custom audiences.

Moreover, Derrida argues, since all we have access to is the signifier, for all intents and purposes, the signified does not really exist.

From Vox

Submission is set in a France seven years from now that is dominated by a Muslim president intent on imposing Islamic law.

Some brought rocks and bricks, intent on clashing with the police.

A twinned, imagined narrative of a fictitious Fidel Castro and a Miami exile intent on assassinating him.

The details differ but the intent is the same as in a high-profile case of police brutality.

Men and women of good intent who simply seek “the truth” upon which to base their opinions find themselves awash in folderol.

This seems to be contrary to the spirit and intent of the act, which is primarily to centralize reserves in Federal Reserve Banks.

He was a good judge of men, that eagle-faced major; he knew that the slightest move with hostile intent would mean a smoking gun.

It was theatrical: he stood upon the stage, an audience watching him with intent expectancy, wondering upon his decision.

She knew that Alessandro had no knife, and had gone forward with no hostile intent; but she knew nothing beyond that.

She was too intent upon studying his own to hide them, and upon arriving at a final conclusion.


Related Words

Definitions and idiom definitions from Unabridged, based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

Idioms from The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.




intensive care unitintention