Definition of intendant in English:



  • 1The administrator of an opera house or theatre.

    • ‘In his memoirs, Drummond took McMaster to task for not making more of an impact with opera, given that he is ‘one of the most gifted opera intendants of our time’.’
    • ‘Soon all but two of the East German theatre intendants will be gone, and only West German intendants will remain.’
    • ‘Peter Ruzicka, the new intendant of the festival, threatens to revive it for 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.’
    • ‘Strauss devised his music for Enoch Arden to strengthen his Munich position with Ernst von Possart, intendant of the Court Theatre.’
    • ‘The current intendant, Sir Peter Jonas, was originally to be replaced by Christoph Albrecht.’
  • 2historical A title given to a high-ranking official or administrator, especially in France, Spain, Portugal, or one of their colonies.

    • ‘Joseph established a uniform central administration modelled on France, and divided his kingdom into 14 provinces, run by intendants.’
    • ‘Colonies were under the control of governors and officials called intendants without the interference of representative bodies.’
    • ‘To centralize the administration, an intendant was put in charge of each province, and in 1717 the executive bureaus of the government were reorganized.’
    • ‘Moreover despite official regulations stipulating that intendants should not spend more than three years in one generality, or be sent to their own regions, these rules were regularly flouted.’


Mid 17th century: from French, from Latin intendere ‘to direct’ (see intend).