intention

intention, intent, purpose, design, aim, end, object, objective, goal are comparable when meaning what one proposes to accomplish or to attain by doing or making something, in distinction from what prompts one (the motive), or from the activity itself (the means), or from the actual or envisioned outcome (the effect). The first four of these words stress the clearly defined will to do or make something.
Intention, however, often denotes little more than what one has in mind to do or to bring about
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she had not had an intention or a thought of going home— Dickens

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she had divined the intention behind her mother's tolerance— Joyce

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announced its intention to divide its Indian Empire into two dominions— Current Biog.

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Intent suggests clearer formulation and greater deliberateness than intention
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they become enamored of official declarations of intent, though not much is said about the machinery to translate intent into action— Cousins

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behind my look you saw such unmistakable intentMillay

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Purpose implies more settled determination or more resolution than intention
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have a purpose in life

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the missionary was here for a purpose, and he pressed his point— Cather

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there lie youth and irresolution: here manhood and purposeMeredith

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Design carries further the notion of deliberateness and purposiveness in formulating an intention; in this sense it is not always clearly distinguishable from design denoting plan (see under PLAN n) for it retains the implications of careful ordering of details, of calculation, and sometimes of scheming
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a great man by accident rather than designLaski

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I had suspected him of harboring . . . sinister designsHudson

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the United States has no ulterior designs against any of its neighbors— Vandenberg

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Aim implies a clear definition of something that one hopes to effect and a direction of one's efforts or energies to its attainment; thus, one who proposes to make the best of his powers and of his opportunities may be said to have a purpose in life: one who has clearly defined the mark he hopes to reach and determines his actions by it may be said to have an aim in life
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her steadiness and courage in the pursuit of her aims—J. R. Green

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the aim of the Elizabethans was to attain complete realism— T. S. Eliot

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The remaining words of this group, like aim, imply that what one does is affected by what one hopes to accomplish or attain.
End in this relation retains some of the suggestion of remoteness and finality inherent in some of its other senses (see LIMIT, END 2) and therefore is appropriately applied to an aim or purpose which takes its nature from principle or logical necessity and of which the attainment requires a definite and planned course of action leading to the modification of existent reality
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holding that the good of the end justified all the evil of the means

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the relation between means and ends is clearly bound up with a temporal view. Ends are in the future, means in the present. We do control means, we do not control ends. Hence the foolishness of conceiving ends apart from means. On the contrary, ends must be judged, and evaluated, in the light of the means available for their attainment— Visalberghi

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provide the safeguard we need against the abuse of mankind's scientific genius for destructive endsDean

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the end of law was to bring about the widest possible abstract indi-vidual liberty— Roscoe Pound

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it is commonly said and commonly believed that science is completely neutral and indifferent as to the ends and values which move men to act: that at most it only provides more efficient means for realization of ends that are and must be due to wants and desires completely independent of science— Dewey

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Object and objective apply to an end as being that toward which effort or action or emotion (as hope) is directed
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the object is to gather data that can be taken only during a total solar blackout— Cow en

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one of the important objectives of public education has been and will always be to inspire in youth a deep appreciation of the basic spiritual and religious values which give meaning to existence— Current Biog.

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Distinctively, object may suggest an end based on more individually determined desires, needs, or intentions
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Colonel Belgrave, who is bent on abducting Amanda . . . pursues his object with a pertinacity and ingenuity that does credit to his understanding— C rot hers

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the object of a legislator, he declares, is to make not a great but a happy city— Dickinson

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we call a man cruel who takes pleasure in the suffering of others and inflicts it with that objectBelloc

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while objective may suggest one which is concrete and immediately attainable or at least one which involves no obviously insurmountable problems
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the objectives of the Guild are to promote and advance the spiritual, social, educational and recreational welfare of the blind persons in the Diocese— Hamrah

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Colum-bia included among its earliest stated objectives the instruction of youth in surveying, navigation, husbandry, commerce, government, and manufacture— Eurich

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Goal often evokes the image of one running a race; usually it implies struggle and endurance of hardships and cessation of effort at attainment
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the Good, which is the goal of all moral endeavor— Inge

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in the average man's mind leisure is ... a goal to strive for— Furnas

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equality is, of course, a goal or ideal rather than an immediately attainable objective— Gallagher

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Analogous words: *plan, design, scheme, project: desiring or desire, wishing or wish (see corresponding verbs at DESIRE)

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • intention — [ ɛ̃tɑ̃sjɔ̃ ] n. f. • 1190; lat. intentio 1 ♦ Fait de se proposer un certain but. ⇒ dessein, idée, projet. Intention et action, et passage à l acte. ♢ Dr. Volonté consciente de commettre un fait prohibé par la loi. Commettre un acte avec l… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Intention — • An act of the will by which that faculty efficaciously desires to reach an end by employing the means Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Intention     Intention      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • intention — INTENTION. s. f. Dessein, mouvement de l ame par lequel on tend, on vise à quelque fin. Bonne intention. mauvaise intention. droite, loüable intention. il a intention, l intention de faire quelque chose. mon intention n estoit pas de vous… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • intention — in·ten·tion /in ten chən/ n: something intended: intent the intention of the testator ◇ Intent is more commonly used than intention when speaking technically esp. about the criminal and tort concepts of intent (senses 1a and 1b). Merriam… …   Law dictionary

  • Intention — In*ten tion, n. [F. intention, L. intentio. See {Intend}, and cf. {Intension}.] [1913 Webster] 1. A stretching or bending of the mind toward an object; closeness of application; fixedness of attention; earnestness. [1913 Webster] Intention is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intention — is followed either by of + verbal noun or by a to infinitive, the first of these being somewhat more common and the second influenced by the verb intend: • I have no intention no present intention of standing for Parliament Harold Macmillan, 1979 …   Modern English usage

  • Intention — Sf Absicht, Bestreben per. Wortschatz fremd. Erkennbar fremd (16. Jh.) Entlehnung. Entlehnt aus l. intentio ( ōnis), einem Abstraktum zu l. intendere (intentum) hinwenden, anschicken, sein Streben auf etwas richten , zu l. tendere (tentum,… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • intention — [in ten′shən] n. [ME entencioun < OFr entencion < L intentio < pp. of intendere] 1. the act or fact of intending; determination to do a specified thing or act in a specified manner 2. a) anything intended or planned; aim, end, or purpose …   English World dictionary

  • Intention — (v. lat.), Absicht, Zweck; daher Intentioniren, beabsichtigen. Intentionalismus, Glaube, daß der Zweck (Intention) die Mittel heilige. Intentionalität, Absichtlichkeit …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Intention — (lat.), Absicht, Vorhaben, Zweck (nicht zu verwechseln mit Intension, s. d.) …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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