1. The action or fact of intending: Are computers capable of intention?
a. An aim that guides action; an objective: My intention is to learn Russian.
b. intentions Purpose with respect to marriage: She worried that his intentions were not honorable.
3. Medicine The process by which or the manner in which a wound heals.
4. Archaic Import; meaning.
[Middle English entencioun, from Old French intention, from Latin intentiō, intentiōn-, from intentus, intent, from past participle of intendere, to direct attention; see INTEND.]
Synonyms: intention, intent, purpose, goal, end, aim, object, objective
These nouns refer to what one plans to do or achieve. Intention simply signifies a course of action that one proposes to follow: It is my intention to work for a year and then go back to school. Intent more strongly implies deliberateness: The executor complied with the testator's intent. Purpose stresses the desired result of one's actions or efforts and often implies a sense of dedication: The organization's purpose is to build affordable housing. A goal is something rewarding or fulfilling that inspires a sustained endeavor: The college's goal was to raise sixty million dollars for a new library. End suggests an ultimate or overriding goal: The candidate wanted to win and pursued every means to achieve that end. Aim stresses the direction one's efforts take in pursuit of something: The aim of the legislation is to spur the development of renewable energy. An object is a specific outcome or result on which one is focused: The object of chess is to checkmate your opponent's king. An objective is a goal that one is assigned or motivated to achieve: The report outlines the committee's objectives.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.