AskDefine | Define intention

Dictionary Definition



1 an anticipated outcome that is intended or that guides your planned actions; "his intent was to provide a new translation"; "good intentions are not enough"; "it was created with the conscious aim of answering immediate needs"; "he made no secret of his designs" [syn: purpose, intent, aim, design]
2 (usually plural) the goal with respect to a marriage proposal; "his intentions are entirely honorable"
3 an act of intending; a volition that you intend to carry out; "my intention changed once I saw her"

User Contributed Dictionary



  • /ɪnˈtɛnʃən/, /In"tEnS@n/


  1. A course of action that a person intends to follow.
    My intention was to marry a wealthy widow.


a course intended to follow
  • Czech: úmysl, záměr
  • Greek: πρόθεση (próthesi)
  • Hebrew: כוונה
  • Indonesian: niat
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: مه‌به‌س, نیاز
  • Persian: قصد , منظور
  • Romanian: intenţie
  • Swedish: avsikt




Extensive Definition

An agent's intention in performing an action is their specific purpose in doing so, the end or goal they aim at, or intend to accomplish. Whether an action is successful or unsuccessful depends at least on whether the intended result was brought about. Other consequences of someone's acting are called unintentional. Intentional behavior can also be just thoughtful and deliberate goal-directedness.

In Philosophy

G.E.M Anscombe made the topic of intentional action a major topic of analytic philosophy with her 1957 work Intention. She argued that intentional action was coextensive with action of which you could ask "why were you doing that?" In the sense that she meant that question, it was "refused application" by the answer "I was not aware that I was doing that," but not by "for no reason at all." Therefore she held that it was possible to act intentionally for no reason at all. She also claimed that intentional action was subject to "knowledge without observation."

Related terms

  • In the philosophy of mind, intentionality is the property of being "about" something else, or to have some subject matter, in a certain way. Many states of mind, such as thinking about the pyramids, are characteristically about things (in this case the pyramids). Other things, such as words and paintings, can also have kinds of intentionality. Rocks and tables, in general, do not have intentional states.


intention in German: Willenserklärung
intention in French: Intention
intention in Korean: 의사표시
intention in Japanese: 意思表示
intention in Russian: Интенция
intention in Sicilian: Ntinzioni
intention in Chinese: 意思表示

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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