Definition of intent in English:



  • [mass noun] Intention or purpose.

    ‘with alarm she realized his intent’
    [count noun] ‘a real intent to cut back on social programmes’
    aim, purpose, intention, objective, object, goal, target, end
    design, plan, scheme
    resolve, resolution, determination
    wish, desire, ambition, idea, dream, aspiration, hope
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  • 1Determined to do (something)

    ‘the government was intent on achieving greater efficiency’
    • ‘What Wales didn't have was a confidence that reflected their ability or a culture that was intent on building that confidence.’
    • ‘Now, decades since those heady days, two Irish businessmen are intent on waging their own space race.’
    • ‘If they are intent on doing something, then they will do it.’
    • ‘He said he was intent on protecting direct payments to Ireland which were worth 2 billion euro annually.’
    • ‘Second, many advisers are still intent on chasing high returns.’
    • ‘It is also the only music station which is not intent on fleecing 16 to 24-year-olds.’
    • ‘But the contest was far from over as the two international challengers were intent on playing their hands late.’
    • ‘According to reports, the accidents were caused by a man who was intent on killing himself.’
    • ‘And no matter what people say she is quite intent on fulfilling that dream.’
    • ‘They were intent on driving the Portuguese out of this tropical paradise and claiming it for themselves.’
    • ‘The assumption is that the Bank of England is intent on tightening policy over the coming months, but its decisions will depend on the data.’
    • ‘The couple are intent on keeping Lucy in touch with her roots.’
    • ‘Burley understands the mood though, and is intent on lifting it.’
    • ‘He also warned their opposition could backfire because he was now intent on deregulating the restaurant sector.’
    • ‘He has secured planning permission to develop the house and grounds, but is intent on also converting the castle into an annex of the hotel.’
    • ‘Chip's face was firm and Kim could tell he was intent on keeping himself above water.’
    • ‘The joy of it is that we still don't know where it's headed; but we're absolutely intent on enjoying the ride.’
    • ‘I was intent on giving a few of my friends some motivation to get them done early.’
    • ‘They will no doubt be intent on making it one to remember.’
    • ‘Mr Elliott said councillors were ‘upset’ that the youngsters seemed so intent on wreaking havoc.’
    bent, set, determined, insistent, fixed, resolved, hell-bent, keen
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    1. 1.1Attentively occupied with.
      ‘Gill was intent on her gardening magazine’
      • ‘Mr McCall said the management was still ‘more intent on imposition than negotiation’.’
      • ‘I was so intent in my thoughts, that it took a while for me to realize that Randilyn had stopped playing.’
      • ‘He was very intent on this task, as if he fancied himself a latter-day St. Francis.’
      • ‘But the women take no notice of their admirers, so intent are they on their own conversation.’
      attentive, absorbed, engrossed, fascinated, enthralled, enrapt, rapt, focused, earnest, concentrated, concentrating, intense, studious, fixed, steady, steadfast, occupied, preoccupied, wrapped up, alert, watchful, observant
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  • 2(of a look or expression) showing earnest and eager attention.

    ‘a curiously intent look on her face’
    • ‘She looked Mike directly in the eyes, catching the intent green eyed gaze head on.’
    • ‘Chase stepped back and simply regarded me with an intent stare that made me squirm unconsciously.’
    • ‘He had a concerned expression on his face that was so intent I've never seen it before.’
    • ‘Danny looked up to see Cameron at the door, leaning back against it with an intent look in his eyes.’
    • ‘The same eyes were looking at me, almost burning me with their intent gaze.’
    • ‘With an intent stare, she gazed into the flames, seeming to go into a trance.’
    • ‘I was preoccupied with this useless energy when a huge man approached with an intent look on his face.’
    • ‘He stood up, wiping his hands on his breeches, and a more intent look on his face.’
    • ‘I looked around and saw Dame coming towards me with an intent look in his eyes, and I laughed.’
    • ‘She has an unsettling intent look, and seems to see things the people around her don't.’
    • ‘Jacqui turned from his intent gaze and stared out the window of the carriage.’
    • ‘Ronnie looked back at him with an intent gaze, his assuring smile suggesting he awaited an answer.’
    • ‘I glanced at him, seeing his intent face, and decided against something sarcastic.’
    • ‘She stares into the light without flinching, her expression deadly serious and intent.’
    • ‘His gaze was intent, and my face was hot, but I couldn't think of what to say next.’
    enthusiastic, avid, eager, ardent, passionate, fervent, fervid, impassioned, wholehearted, zestful, zealous, driven
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Middle English: from Old French entent, entente, based on Latin intendere (see intend). The adjective is from Latin intentus, past participle of intendere.