See also: Intention



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Borrowing from Middle French intention, entention, from Old French entencion, from Latin intentio, intentionem.


intention ‎(plural intentions)

  1. The goal or purpose behind a specific action or set of actions.
    The intention of this legislation is to boost the economy.
    My intention was to marry a wealthy widow.
    It’s easy to promise anything when you have no intention of fulfilling any of it.
    • Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) (but see Apocryhpha)
      Hell is paved with good intentions.
    • 1908, W[illiam] B[lair] M[orton] Ferguson, Zollenstein, New York, N.Y.: D. Appleton & Company, OCLC 29686887 , chapter IV:
      “My Continental prominence is improving,” I commented dryly. ¶ Von Lindowe cut at a furze bush with his silver-mounted rattan. ¶ “Quite so,” he said as dryly, his hand at his mustache. “I may say if your intentions were known your life would not be worth a curse.”
    • 1935, George Goodchild, chapter 3, in Death on the Centre Court:
      It had been his intention to go to Wimbledon, but as he himself said: “Why be blooming well frizzled when you can hear all the results over the wireless. And results are all that concern me. []
  2. (obsolete) Tension; straining, stretching.
  3. A stretching or bending of the mind toward an object; closeness of application; fixedness of attention; earnestness.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      Intention is when the mind, with great earnestness, and of choice, fixes its view on any idea.
  4. (obsolete) The object toward which the thoughts are directed; end; aim.
  5. (obsolete) Any mental apprehension of an object.
  6. (medicine) The process of the healing of a wound.
    • 2007, Carie Ann Braun, ‎Cindy Miller Anderson, Pathophysiology: Functional Alterations in Human Health, p.49:
      When healing occurs by primary intention, the wound is basically closed with all areas of the wound connecting and healing simultaneously.

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.

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  1. Genitive singular form of intentio.



From Middle French entention, from Old French entencion, a borrowing from Latin intentiō, intentiōnem. Respelled intention in Middle French to more closely match the Classical Latin form.



intention f ‎(plural intentions)

  1. intention
    dans l'intention de devenir roi
    with the intention of becoming king

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Middle FrenchEdit


intention f (plural intentions)

  1. Alternative form of entention