Origin of intention

1300–50; Middle English intencio(u)n < Latin intentiōn- (stem of intentiō). See intent2, -ion
Related formsin·ten·tion·less, adjectivemis·in·ten·tion, nounpre·in·ten·tion, nounsub·in·ten·tion, noun

Synonyms for intention

2. goal. 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. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intentions

Contemporary Examples of intentions

Historical Examples of intentions

  • And what are your intentions with regard to this fair captive?


    Lydia Maria Child

  • He had not intended this; it seemed hardly his fault: his intentions had been good, or at least not bad.


    Thomas Wentworth Higginson

  • I am to be unlucky in all I do, I think, be my intentions ever so good.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • I have no subterfuges, no arts, no intentions, but to keep to the letter of them.

    Clarissa, Volume 1 (of 9)

    Samuel Richardson

  • "My intentions with regard to Dick are strictly honourable," she remarked.


    William J. Locke

British Dictionary definitions for intentions



a purpose or goal; aimit is his intention to reform
law the resolve or design with which a person does or refrains from doing an act, a necessary ingredient of certain offences
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
(usually plural) design or purpose with respect to a proposal of marriage (esp in the phrase honourable intentions)
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

Word Origin and History for intentions

"one's purposes with regard to courtship and marriage," by 1796; see intention.



mid-14c., from Old French entencion "stretching, intensity, will, thought" (12c.), from Latin intentionem (nominative intentio) "a stretching out, straining, exertion, effort; attention," noun of action from intendere "to turn one's attention," literally "to stretch out" (see intend).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for intentions




An aim that guides action.
The process by which or the manner in which a wound heals.
Related formsin•tention•al adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.