Definition of intendant in English:



  • 1The administrator of an opera house or theatre.

    • ‘Strauss devised his music for Enoch Arden to strengthen his Munich position with Ernst von Possart, intendant of the Court Theatre.’
    • ‘Soon all but two of the East German theatre intendants will be gone, and only West German intendants will remain.’
    • ‘The current intendant, Sir Peter Jonas, was originally to be replaced by Christoph Albrecht.’
    • ‘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’.’
    • ‘Peter Ruzicka, the new intendant of the festival, threatens to revive it for 2006, the 250th anniversary of Mozart's birth.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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