Definition of intend in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛnd/


[with object]
1Have (a course of action) as one’s purpose or intention; plan: [with infinitive]: the company intends to cut 400 jobs [with clause]: it was not intended that colleges should have to revise their current schemes
More example sentences
  • The only purpose it is intended to serve is to boost the election prospects of the ruling party in the State.
  • It is possible that from its beginning it was intended in due course to become the administrative centre of Britain as well.
  • He had planned the ideal route down the snowboard cross course and was intending to stick to it.
1.1 (intend something as/to do something) Plan that something should be or do something: a series of questions intended as a checklist
More example sentences
  • He had agreed to supply wire to cut the prison bars, but said he never intended the plan to be put into effect and believed that it could not possibly succeed.
  • Indeed there would be no point to such centralized plans if they weren't intended to override the wishes of individuals.
  • Both plans are intended to gain credit with Republicans in the bid to move them towards decommissioning of weapons.
1.2Plan that speech should have (a particular meaning): no offence was intended, I assure you
More example sentences
  • Power politics carried the day, Simpson argues - intending the double meaning.
  • Words often have several different meanings and we can tell which meaning is intended only by seeing how the word is used.
  • If this was intended as a defining speech, then the Tories still don't seem to have defined exactly what they are for.
2 (usually be intended for/to do something) Design or destine something for a particular purpose: pigs intended for human consumption a one-roomed cottage intended to accommodate a family
More example sentences
  • The new design was intended to create more internal space, which meant stripping away the additions at the back.
  • But these interventions also served humanitarian purposes, and presumably were intended to do that too.
  • In the 18th century, wallpaper artisans designed elaborate motifs that were intended to be hung as panels.
2.1 (be intended for) Be meant or designed for the use of (a particular person or group): this benefit is intended for people incapable of work
More example sentences
  • In 1998 two foresters were killed by a landmine intended for the park director.
  • I have come to accept the world-view that my life should be lived according to what God intended for me, as a gay man.
  • It is soo cute, but probably too big for the person it's intended for so I might have to keep it and make another smaller one.



Example sentences
  • Said AOL exec, Kenn Turner: ‘We're addressing the needs of the millions of Internet intenders who are first-time PC buyers or novice computer users.’
  • And unless it is all deception, the project should be able to challenge the boundaries of recent releases of pretenders, intenders and contenders.
  • Most hybrid intenders don't really know what a hybrid is.


Middle English entend (in the sense 'direct the attention to'), from Old French entendre, from Latin intendere 'intend, extend, direct', from in- 'towards' + tendere 'stretch, tend'.

  • The early spelling was entend which meant ‘direct the attention to’, from Old French entendre from Latin intendere ‘intend, extend, direct’, literally ‘stretch towards’. Intense (Late Middle English) comes from a past form of the Latin, and superintendent (mid 16th century) is from Latin superintendere ‘to oversee’.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in¦tend

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