Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

den

[den]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
noun
  1. the lair or shelter of a wild animal, especially a predatory mammal.
  2. a room, often secluded, in a house or apartment, designed to provide a quiet, comfortable, and informal atmosphere for conversation, reading, writing, etc.
  3. a cave used as a place of shelter or concealment.
  4. a squalid or vile abode or place: dens of misery.
  5. one of the units of a cub scout pack, analogous to a patrol in the Boy Scouts.
verb (used with object), denned, den·ning.
  1. to drive or pursue (an animal) into its den.
  2. to kill (an animal) inside its den.
verb (used without object), denned, den·ning.
  1. to live in or as if in a den.

Origin of den

before 1000; Middle English; Old English denn; compare early Dutch denne floor, cave, den, German Tenne floor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for denning

Historical Examples

  • But Denning shouldn't have asked the stranger into the reception-room.

    The Music Master

    Charles Klein

  • Miss Denning smiled in his face, while I felt as if I wished he would be as fatherly with me.

    Sail Ho!

    George Manville Fenn

  • You were close to us this morning when Mr Denning spoke to me.

    Sail Ho!

    George Manville Fenn

  • And it seems to be doing Mr Denning and his sister ever so much good.

    Sail Ho!

    George Manville Fenn

  • You can take them back,” said Mr Denning, shortly, “I shall not fish to-day.

    Sail Ho!

    George Manville Fenn


British Dictionary definitions for denning

Denning

noun
  1. Baron Alfred Thompson . 1899–1999, English judge; Master of the Rolls 1962-82

den

noun
  1. the habitat or retreat of a lion or similar wild animal; lair
  2. a small or secluded room in a home, often used for carrying on a hobby
  3. a squalid or wretched room or retreat
  4. a site or haunta den of vice
  5. Scot a small wooded valley; dingle
  6. Scot and Northern English dialect a place of sanctuary in certain catching games; home or base
verb dens, denning or denned
  1. (intr) to live in or as if in a den

Word Origin

Old English denn; related to Old High German tenni threshing floor, early Dutch denne low ground, den, cave
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 denning

den

n.

Old English denn "wild animal's lair," from Proto-Germanic *danjan (cf. Middle Low German denne "lowland, wooded vale, den," Old English denu "valley," Old Frisian dene "down," Old High German tenni, German tenne "threshing floor," from PIE *dan- "low ground"). Sense of "small room" is 1771, originally colloquial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper