[ in-ten-shuhn ]
See synonyms for: intentionintentions on

  1. an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.

  2. the end or object intended; purpose.

  1. intentions,

    • purpose or attitude toward the effect of one's actions or conduct: a bungler with good intentions.

    • purpose or attitude with respect to marriage: Our friends are beginning to ask what our intentions are.

  2. the act or fact of intending.

  3. Logic.

    • Also called first intention, primary intention. reference by signs, concepts, etc., to concrete things, their properties, classes, or the relationships among them.

    • Also called second intention, secondary intention. reference to properties, classes, or the relationships among first intentions.

  4. Surgery, Medicine/Medical. a manner or process of healing, as in the healing of a lesion or fracture without granulation (healing by first intention ) or the healing of a wound by granulation after suppuration (healing by second intention ).

  5. meaning or significance: The intention of his words was clear.

  6. the person or thing meant to benefit from a prayer or religious offering.

  7. Archaic. intentness.

Origin of intention

First recorded in 1300–50; Middle English intencio(u)n, from Latin intentiōn- (stem of intentiō ). See intent2, -ion

synonym study For intention

2. Intention, intent, purpose all refer to a wish that one means to carry out. Intention is the general word: His intention is good. Intent is chiefly legal or literary: attack with intent to kill. Purpose implies having a goal or determination to achieve something: Her strong sense of purpose is reflected in her studies.

Other words for intention

Other words from intention

  • in·ten·tion·less, adjective
  • mis·in·ten·tion, noun
  • pre·in·ten·tion, noun
  • sub·in·ten·tion, noun

Words Nearby intention Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use intention in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for intention


/ (ɪnˈtɛnʃən) /

  1. a purpose or goal; aim: it is his intention to reform

  2. law the resolve or design with which a person does or refrains from doing an act, a necessary ingredient of certain offences

  1. med a natural healing process, as by first intention, in which the edges of a wound cling together with no tissue between, or by second intention, in which the wound edges adhere with granulation tissue

  2. (usually plural) design or purpose with respect to a proposal of marriage (esp in the phrase honourable intentions)

  3. an archaic word for meaning, intentness

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