firmly or steadfastly fixed or directed, as the eyes or mind: an intent gaze.
having the attention sharply focused or fixed on something: intent on one's job.
determined or resolved; having the mind or will fixed on some goal: intent on revenge.
earnest; intense: an intent person.

Origin of intent

1600–10; < Latin intentus taut, intent, past participle of intendere to intend; cf. intense
Related formsin·tent·ly, adverbin·tent·ness, noun

Synonyms for intent

Antonyms for intent Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intentness

Historical Examples of intentness

  • The regard they fixed on his face was baleful in its intentness.

  • All the while I looked at him steadily, until his eyes began to lose their intentness.

    Wood Folk at School

    William J. Long

  • His vision was not unconscious of her presence; he stared at her with intentness.


    Benjamin Disraeli

  • Beneath the intentness of the scrutiny Ellen colored uneasily.

    The Wall Between

    Sara Ware Bassett

  • All the factors were present to him and he dwelt upon them with intentness.

    Gulmore, The Boss

    Frank Harris

British Dictionary definitions for intentness



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


firmly fixed; determined; concentratedan intent look
(postpositive; usually foll by on or upon) having the fixed intention (of); directing one's mind or energy (to)intent on committing a crime
Derived Formsintently, adverbintentness, noun

Word Origin for intent

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



"purpose," early 13c., from Old French entente, from Latin intentus "a stretching out," in Late Latin "intention, attention," noun use of past participle of intendere "stretch out, lean toward, strain," literally "to stretch out" (see intend).



"very attentive," late 14c., from Latin intentus "attentive, eager, waiting, strained," past participle of intendere "to strain, stretch" (see intend). Related: Intently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with intentness


see to all intents and purposes.

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