Definition of intent in English:


Line breaks: in¦tent
Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛnt


[mass noun]


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  • 2(Of a look or expression) showing earnest and eager attention: a curiously intent look on her face
    More example sentences
    • She has an unsettling intent look, and seems to see things the people around her don't.
    • I was preoccupied with this useless energy when a huge man approached with an intent look on his face.
    • Danny looked up to see Cameron at the door, leaning back against it with an intent look in his eyes.


to all intents and purposes

In all important respects: a man who was to all intents and purposes illiterate
More example sentences
  • I am, to all intents and purposes, a private person.
  • It is, to all intents and purposes, an attempt to rebrand Egypt.
  • But as Harold says, to all intents and purposes, they are very accepting of Camilla.
in effect, effectively, in essence, essentially, virtually, practically, in practical terms, for all practical purposes, in all important respects; more or less, just about, all but, as good as, in all but name, as near as dammit; almost, nearly, verging on, bordering on, well nigh, nigh on; South African plus-minus

with intent

Law With the intention of committing a crime: he denied arson with intent to endanger life
More example sentences
  • At an earlier hearing Carter pleaded guilty to arson with intent to endanger life.
  • That certainly could not have affected the verdict on the wounding with intent.
  • He faces charges of attempted arson and having articles with intent to destroy or damage property.



More example sentences
  • With singular intentness, a procession of men carry a body.
  • ‘What do you think these aliens would look like?’ she asked with the same intentness as her first question.
  • He watched those games from the baseline underneath the basket with a level of intentness belying his youth.


Middle English: from Old French entent, entente, based on Latin intendere (see intend). The adjective is from Latin intentus, past participle of intendere.

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