Definition of intension in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈtenSHən/


1 Logic The internal content of a concept. Often contrasted with extension (sense 5).
Example sentences
  • All versions of externalism have in common that intensions don't determine extensions.
  • In the language of nominalism, the terms ‘black’ and ‘white’ purport to have mutually exclusive intensions and should therefore have mutually exclusive extensions, which they do not.
  • On the other hand, two sentences have the same intension if they are logically equivalent, i.e., their equivalence is due to the semantic rules of the language.



Pronunciation: /-SHənl/
Example sentences
  • Logics which attempt to display the logical properties of intensional contexts are called intensional logics.
  • But there is what philosophers (at least this philosopher) think of as an extensional and an intensional way of describing our perceptions.
  • There are sentences which are neither extensional nor intensional; for example, belief-sentences.


Pronunciation: /-SHənl-ē/
Example sentences
  • Such a concern description is defined intensionally as a set of regular expressions.
  • It is made up of concepts and knowledge primitives intensionally contained in it.


Early 17th century (also in the sense 'straining, stretching'): from Latin intensio(n-), from intendere (see intend). sense 1 dates from the mid 19th century.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·ten·sion

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