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’
    • ‘We need to ensure the intention of the planning inspector is carried out.’
    • ‘Last night he announced his intention to stand down as leader of the Labour party in Wales.’
    • ‘Sometimes on the vital subject of his plans and intentions, there is no means available other than espionage.’
    • ‘We start today with a statement from each of the six who have so far declared their intention to stand.’
    • ‘The automaker is hinting that it considers a recall unnecessary and plans to announce its intentions next week.’
    • ‘He said that there were no plans, intentions, desires, or need for any increases greater than inflation.’
    • ‘One of the plan's main intentions is to reunite Hull with its best asset - the waterfront.’
    • ‘Can you remember a time when someone was poised to take over a major power with so little known about their plans and intentions?’
    • ‘A surprising turn of events may change your plans and intentions today.’
    • ‘A surprising turn of events may change your plans and intentions.’
    • ‘By tradition, we want to start the year by sharing with you our plans and intentions for the future.’
    • ‘In my view, the proposal conflicts with the intentions of the development plan.’
    • ‘Three days after declaring her intention to stand as leader of the SNP, everyone wants a piece of her.’
    • ‘As too often happens with the best intentions, the plans got tripped up by technicalities.’
    • ‘They boarded trucks in Mumbai, armed with rods and cycle chains, openly announcing their intentions.’
    • ‘We actually have intentions and plans to make new music.’
    • ‘It should be kept in mind, however, that this was more a statement of the Kremlin's intentions than a specific plan of action.’
    • ‘The local context, scripts, plans, and intentions of the actor are central to this analysis.’
    • ‘It was your brother who first soiled our study plan with the lowest intentions.’
    • ‘The government announced their intentions for strengthening of democratic institutions.’
    aim, purpose, intent, objective, object, goal, target, end
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1mass noun The action or fact of intending.
      ‘intention is just one of the factors that will be considered’
      • ‘The two bodies of work are quite separate, if not in intention, then definitely in effect.’
      • ‘There had been, in fact if not intention, a collaborative intelligence corruption.’
      • ‘In our view it is legitimate to consider motive or its absence in reaching a conclusion on intention.’
      • ‘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 is therefore important that the sincerity of intention must be given due regard.’
      • ‘If practice is undertaken for mental or spiritual gain, that intention will determine the results.’
      • ‘Exactly, and in this case motive was separated from intention for that very reason.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I wish the public and organisations of good intention would make their voices heard.’
      • ‘She tried very hard to keep to the spirit of the Buddha's teachings and maintain purity of intention.’
      • ‘All that is required is that there be sufficient evidence of lack of intention to dedicate.’
      • ‘This ability fundamentally relies on the concepts of intention and intentionality.’
      • ‘Motive is the reason why a person acts, while intention is his or her mental awareness at the time of the act.’
      • ‘Karma, in this strain of Hinduism, is very definitely a matter of intention and not result.’
      • ‘Bypassing the media seems to have been effective in converting voting intention.’
      • ‘At no stage was I or my official motivated by any intention to influence the judge.’
      • ‘It was also pointed out that, in law, motive and intention are distinct concepts.’
      • ‘Kamma is intention, and intention is now, which means kamma is being made now, in every waking moment.’
      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’
      • ‘Recalling what she saw in his eyes, she began to wonder his true intentions towards her.’
      • ‘He told me the same, saying he had no intentions, no plans to marry Moore.’
  • 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).