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Definition of intention

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in·ten·tion  audio  (n-tnshn) KEY 

  1. A course of action that one intends to follow.
    1. An aim that guides action; an objective.
    2. intentions Purpose with respect to marriage: honorable intentions.
  2. Medicine The process by which or the manner in which a wound heals.
  3. Archaic Import; meaning.

Middle English entencioun, from Old French intention, from Latin intenti, intentin-, from intentus, intent, from past participle of intendere, to direct attention ; see intend

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 take a vacation next month. Intent more strongly implies deliberateness: The executor complied with the testator's intent. Purpose strengthens the idea of resolution or determination: "His purpose was to discover how long these guests intended to stay" (Joseph Conrad). Goal may suggest an idealistic or long-term purpose: The college's goal was to raise ten million dollars for a new library. End suggests a long-range 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 an end: The aim of most students is to graduate. An object is an end that one tries to carry out: The object of chess is to capture your opponent's king. Objective often implies that the end or goal can be reached: The report outlines the committee's objectives.

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