Definition of intention in English:



  • 1A thing intended; an aim or plan:

    ‘she was full of good intentions’
    [with infinitive] ‘he announced his intention to stand for re-election’
    • ‘As too often happens with the best intentions, the plans got tripped up by technicalities.’
    • ‘Can you remember a time when someone was poised to take over a major power with so little known about their plans and intentions?’
    • ‘He said that there were no plans, intentions, desires, or need for any increases greater than inflation.’
    • ‘The automaker is hinting that it considers a recall unnecessary and plans to announce its intentions next week.’
    • ‘We actually have intentions and plans to make new music.’
    • ‘In my view, the proposal conflicts with the intentions of the development plan.’
    • ‘It was your brother who first soiled our study plan with the lowest intentions.’
    • ‘Last night he announced his intention to stand down as leader of the Labour party in Wales.’
    • ‘One of the plan's main intentions is to reunite Hull with its best asset - the waterfront.’
    • ‘Sometimes on the vital subject of his plans and intentions, there is no means available other than espionage.’
    • ‘The local context, scripts, plans, and intentions of the actor are central to this analysis.’
    • ‘We need to ensure the intention of the planning inspector is carried out.’
    • ‘They boarded trucks in Mumbai, armed with rods and cycle chains, openly announcing their intentions.’
    • ‘It should be kept in mind, however, that this was more a statement of the Kremlin's intentions than a specific plan of action.’
    • ‘By tradition, we want to start the year by sharing with you our plans and intentions for the future.’
    • ‘Three days after declaring her intention to stand as leader of the SNP, everyone wants a piece of her.’
    • ‘The government announced their intentions for strengthening of democratic institutions.’
    • ‘We start today with a statement from each of the six who have so far declared their intention to stand.’
    • ‘A surprising turn of events may change your plans and intentions.’
    • ‘A surprising turn of events may change your plans and intentions today.’
    aim, purpose, intent, objective, object, goal, target, end
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[mass noun] The action or fact of intending:
      ‘intention is just one of the factors that will be considered’
      • ‘She tried very hard to keep to the spirit of the Buddha's teachings and maintain purity of intention.’
      • ‘At no stage was I or my official motivated by any intention to influence the judge.’
      • ‘In our view it is legitimate to consider motive or its absence in reaching a conclusion on intention.’
      • ‘I wish the public and organisations of good intention would make their voices heard.’
      • ‘The two bodies of work are quite separate, if not in intention, then definitely in effect.’
      • ‘What these decisions demonstrate is that the courts do not adhere to a single definition of intention.’
      • ‘Highland says there is no certainty of intention to create a trust on the part of Aldridge.’
      • ‘It was also pointed out that, in law, motive and intention are distinct concepts.’
      • ‘Bypassing the media seems to have been effective in converting voting intention.’
      • ‘This ability fundamentally relies on the concepts of intention and intentionality.’
      • ‘If practice is undertaken for mental or spiritual gain, that intention will determine the results.’
      • ‘Karma, in this strain of Hinduism, is very definitely a matter of intention and not result.’
      • ‘There had been, in fact if not intention, a collaborative intelligence corruption.’
      • ‘Motive is the reason why a person acts, while intention is his or her mental awareness at the time of the act.’
      • ‘Exactly, and in this case motive was separated from intention for that very reason.’
      • ‘Kamma is intention, and intention is now, which means kamma is being made now, in every waking moment.’
      • ‘Note that this is different than paradoxical intention in which you act out repeatedly what you are overly afraid of doing, such as come home after dark.’
      • ‘All that is required is that there be sufficient evidence of lack of intention to dedicate.’
      • ‘It is therefore important that the sincerity of intention must be given due regard.’
      deliberateness, intentionality, intent, design, calculation
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2someone's intentions A person's plans, especially a man's, in respect to marriage:
      ‘if his intentions aren't honourable, I never want to see him again’
      • ‘He told me the same, saying he had no intentions, no plans to marry Moore.’
      • ‘Recalling what she saw in his eyes, she began to wonder his true intentions towards her.’
  • 2Medicine
    The healing process of a wound.

  • 3intentionsLogic
    Conceptions formed by directing the mind towards an object.

    • ‘It requires the capacity actively to form intentions in view of one's motivational tendencies and one's normative conclusions.’


Late Middle English: from Old French entencion, from Latin intentio(n-) stretching, purpose, from intendere (see intend).