Desire vs. Intention

By Jaxson

Main Difference

The main difference between Desire and Intention is that the Desire is a sense of longing and Intention is a agent’s specific purpose in performing an action or series of actions, the end or goal that is aimed at

  • Desire

    Desire is a sense of longing or hoping for a person, object, or outcome. The same sense is expressed by emotions such as “craving”. When a person desires something or someone, their sense of longing is excited by the enjoyment or the thought of the item or person, and they want to take actions to obtain their goal. The motivational aspect of desire has long been noted by philosophers; Thomas Hobbes (1588–1679) asserted that human desire is the fundamental motivation of all human action.

    While desires are often classified as emotions by laypersons, psychologists often describe desires as different from emotions; psychologists tend to argue that desires arise from bodily structures, such as the stomach’s need for food, whereas emotions arise from a person’s mental state. Marketing and advertising companies have used psychological research on how desire is stimulated to find more effective ways to induce consumers into buying a given product or service. While some advertising attempts to give buyers a sense of lack or wanting, other types of advertising create desire associating the product with desirable attributes, by showing either a celebrity or a model with the product.

    The theme of desire is at the core of romance novels, which often create drama by showing cases where human desire is impeded by social conventions, class, or cultural barriers. The theme of desire is also used in other literary genres, such as Gothic novels (e.g., Dracula by Bram Stoker, in which desire is mingled with fear and dread). Poets ranging from Homer to Toni Morrison have dealt with the theme of desire in their work. Just as desire is central to the written fiction genre of romance, it is the central theme of melodrama films, which use plots that appeal to the heightened emotions of the audience by showing “crises of human emotion, failed romance or friendship”, in which desire is thwarted or unrequited.

  • Intention

    Intention is a mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought.

  • Desire (verb)

    To want; to wish for earnestly.

    “I desire to speak with you.”

  • Desire (verb)

    To put a request to (someone); to entreat.

  • Desire (verb)

    To want emotionally or sexually.

    “She has desired him since they first met.”

  • Desire (verb)

    To express a wish for; to entreat; to request.

  • Desire (verb)

    To require; to demand; to claim.

  • Desire (verb)

    To miss; to regret.

  • Desire (noun)

    Someone or something wished for.

    “It is my desire to speak with you.”

    “You’re my heart’s desire.”

  • Desire (noun)

    Strong attraction, particularly romantic or sexual.

    “His desire for her kept him awake at night.”

  • Desire (noun)

    The feeling of desiring; an eager longing for something.

    “Too much desire can seriously affect one’s judgment.”

  • Desire (noun)


  • Intention (noun)

    The goal or purpose behind a specific action or set of actions.

    “The intention of this legislation is to boost the economy.”

    “My intention was to marry a wealthy widow.”

    “It’s easy to promise anything when you have no intention of fulfilling any of it.”

  • Intention (noun)

    Tension; straining, stretching.

  • Intention (noun)

    A stretching or bending of the mind toward an object; closeness of application; fixedness of attention; earnestness.

  • Intention (noun)

    The object toward which the thoughts are directed; end; aim.

  • Intention (noun)

    Any mental apprehension of an object.

  • Intention (noun)

    The process of the healing of a wound.

  • Intention (verb)


  • Intention (noun)

    a thing intended; an aim or plan

    “he announced his intention to stand for re-election”

    “she was full of good intentions”

  • Intention (noun)

    the action or fact of intending

    “intention is just one of the factors that will be considered”

  • Intention (noun)

    a person’s plans, especially a man’s, in respect to marriage

    “if his intentions aren’t honourable, I never want to see him again”

  • Intention (noun)

    the healing process of a wound.

  • Intention (noun)

    conceptions formed by directing the mind towards an object.

Oxford Dictionary

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