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  1. done with intention or on purpose; intended: an intentional insult.
  2. of or relating to intention or purpose.
  3. Metaphysics.
    1. pertaining to an appearance, phenomenon, or representation in the mind; phenomenal; representational.
    2. pertaining to the capacity of the mind to refer to an existent or nonexistent object.
    3. pointing beyond itself, as consciousness or a sign.

Origin of intentional

First recorded in 1520–30; intention + -al1
Related formsin·ten·tion·al·i·ty, nounin·ten·tion·al·ly, adverbsub·in·ten·tion·al, adjectivesub·in·ten·tion·al·ly, adverb

Synonyms for intentional

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Synonym study

1. See deliberate.

Antonyms for intentional Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intentional

Contemporary Examples of intentional

Historical Examples of intentional

British Dictionary definitions for intentional


  1. performed by or expressing intention; deliberate
  2. of or relating to intention or purpose
  3. philosophy
    1. of or relating to the capacity of the mind to refer to different kinds of objects
    2. (of an object) existing only as the object of some mental attitude rather than in reality, as a unicorn in she hopes to meet a unicornSee also intensional
Derived Formsintentionality, nounintentionally, adverb
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 intentional

1520s, from Medieval Latin intentionalis, from intentionem (see intention). Intentional fallacy recorded from 1946. Related: Intentionality.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper