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See more synonyms for intentional on Thesaurus.com
  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.
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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


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Synonym study

1. See deliberate.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

deliberately, willfully, designedly

Examples from the Web for intentionally

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • With this object in view the wording is intentionally plain and non-technical.

    Flying Machines

    W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell

  • I do not suppose, my dear, that you intentionally told an untruth; it was an exaggeration.

  • But now, let us reason with the unjust, who is not intentionally in error.

  • Come, now, and let us gently reason with the unjust, who is not intentionally in error.

  • But when Odysseus speaks falsely he is voluntarily and intentionally false.

British Dictionary definitions for intentionally


  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
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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 intentionally


"on purpose," 1660s; see intentional + -ly (2).

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

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper