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verb (used with object), censed, censing.
  1. to burn incense near or in front of; perfume with incense.

Origin of cense

1300–50; Middle English, aphetic variant of incense1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for cense


  1. (tr) to burn incense near or before (an altar, shrine, etc)

Word Origin

C14: from Old French encenser; see incense 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for cense


"to perfume with burning incense," late 14c., a shortened form of incense. Related: Censed; censing.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper