[ in-tent ]
/ ɪnˈtɛnt /


something that is intended; purpose; design; intention: The original intent of the committee was to raise funds.
the act or fact of intending, as to do something: criminal intent.
Law. the state of a person's mind that directs his or her actions toward a specific object.
meaning or significance.

Nearby words

  1. intensity,
  2. intensive,
  3. intensive care,
  4. intensive care unit,
  5. intensively,
  6. intention,
  7. intention movement,
  8. intention spasm,
  9. intention tremor,
  10. intentional


    to/for all intents and purposes, for all practical purposes; practically speaking; virtually: The book is, to all intents and purposes, a duplication of earlier efforts.

Origin of intent

1175–1225; Middle English < Late Latin intentus an aim, purpose, Latin: a stretching out (inten(dere) to intend + -tus suffix of v. action); replacing Middle English entent(e) < Old French < Late Latin, as above

1. See intention. 2. aim, plan, plot.

Can be confusedintense intensive intents Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for to all intents and purposes


/ (ɪnˈtɛnt) /



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 to all intents and purposes
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with to all intents and purposes

to all intents and purposes

Also, for all intents and purposes; for all practical purposes. In every practical sense, virtually. For example, For all intents and purposes the case is closed, or For all practical purposes the Vice-President is the chief executive while the President is in the hospital. The first phrase, dating from the 1500s, originated in English law, where it was to all intents, constructions, and purposes. A shorter synonym is in effect, def. 1.


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.