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[dens] /dɛns/
adjective, denser, densest.
having the component parts closely compacted together; crowded or compact:
a dense forest; dense population.
stupid; slow-witted; dull.
intense; extreme:
dense ignorance.
relatively opaque; transmitting little light, as a photographic negative, optical glass, or color.
difficult to understand or follow because of being closely packed with ideas or complexities of style:
a dense philosophical essay.
Mathematics. of or relating to a subset of a topological space in which every neighborhood of every point in the space contains at least one point of the subset.
Origin of dense
1590-1600; < Latin dēnsus thick; cognate with Greek dasýs
Related forms
densely, adverb
denseness, noun
nondenseness, noun
superdense, adjective
ultradense, adjective
1. congested, crammed, teeming; impenetrable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for denseness
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Darkness of smoke, denseness of forest growth, treachery of swampy soil!

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
  • But the denseness of the throng held her fixed even while revolvers flashed.

    A Texas Ranger William MacLeod Raine
  • There is a kind of opinionativeness and denseness that offend.

    The Quest Frederik van Eeden
  • But whether vino, or denseness on his part, she was sure of the veritas.

    Nothing But the Truth Frederic S. Isham
  • Here and there a yellow light struggled to pierce the denseness of the gloom.

    The Secret Mark

    Roy J. Snell
  • Babbie should have been grateful to his denseness, but it merely set her mind at rest.

    The Little Minister J. M. Barrie
  • denseness, at all events, was not among her failings—when she kept calm.

    A Bride from the Bush

    E. W. (Ernest William) Hornung
  • Such is the enormity of our sin, and the denseness of our ignorance when we shut God out of our business affairs.

    What and Where is God?

    Richard La Rue Swain
  • His denseness irritated Blinky slightly, with the result that the right side of his face again underwent an alarming convulsion.

    The Fortune Hunter Louis Joseph Vance
British Dictionary definitions for denseness


thickly crowded or closely set: a dense crowd
thick; impenetrable: a dense fog
(physics) having a high density
stupid; dull; obtuse
(of a photographic negative) having many dark or exposed areas
(of an optical glass, colour, etc) transmitting little or no light
Derived Forms
densely, adverb
denseness, noun
Word Origin
C15: from Latin densus thick; related to Greek dasus thickly covered with hair or leaves
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 denseness



early 15c., from Middle French dense and directly from Latin densus "thick, crowded; cloudy," perhaps from PIE root *dens- "dense, thick" (cf. Greek dasus "hairy, shaggy"). Sense of "stupid" is first recorded 1822.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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