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90s Slang You Should Know


[denz] /dɛnz/
noun, plural dentes
[den-teez] /ˈdɛn tiz/ (Show IPA).
a tooth or toothlike part.
Origin of dens
< Latin dēns; see tooth


[den] /dɛn/
the lair or shelter of a wild animal, especially a predatory mammal.
a room, often secluded, in a house or apartment, designed to provide a quiet, comfortable, and informal atmosphere for conversation, reading, writing, etc.
a cave used as a place of shelter or concealment.
a squalid or vile abode or place:
dens of misery.
one of the units of a cub scout pack, analogous to a patrol in the Boy Scouts.
verb (used with object), denned, denning.
to drive or pursue (an animal) into its den.
to kill (an animal) inside its den.
verb (used without object), denned, denning.
to live in or as if in a den.
before 1000; Middle English; Old English denn; compare early Dutch denne floor, cave, den, German Tenne floor Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for dens
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They retired in the daytime to their dens, where they hid themselves from the roc, their enemy, and came out only in the night.

  • And at every one of these dens, what a crowd of victims were collected!

  • Then he tracked an animal which led him to the dens, otherwise he perhaps would not have discovered them at all.

    Steel Traps A. R. (Arthur Robert) Harding
  • Others with more probability have supposed them to be the dens of wild beasts.

    Museum of Antiquity L. W. Yaggy
  • The reason generally given was that the closing of the dens in the cities had lessened the demand for opium.

    Drugging a Nation Samuel Merwin
  • We all know ogres, I say, and have been in their dens often.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
  • The monasteries became, under these conditions, dens of iniquity, and the nunneries were no better.

  • Now, there are ogres in City courts who lure you into their dens.

    Roundabout Papers William Makepeace Thackeray
British Dictionary definitions for dens


the habitat or retreat of a lion or similar wild animal; lair
a small or secluded room in a home, often used for carrying on a hobby
a squalid or wretched room or retreat
a site or haunt: a den of vice
(Scot) a small wooded valley; dingle
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) a place of sanctuary in certain catching games; home or base
verb dens, denning, denned
(intransitive) 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
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Word Origin and History for dens



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
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dens in Medicine

dens (děnz)
n. pl. den·tes (děn'tēz')

  1. Tooth.

  2. A toothlike process projecting upward from the body of the axis around which the atlas rotates. Also called odontoid process of epistropheus.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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