- an aromatic gum or other substance producing a sweet odor when burned, used in religious ceremonies, to enhance a mood, etc.
- the perfume or smoke arising from such a substance when burned.
- any pleasant perfume or fragrance.
- homage or adulation.
- to perfume with incense.
- to burn incense for.
- to burn or offer incense.
Origin of incense1
- to inflame with wrath; make angry; enrage.
Origin of incense2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for incense
Frankincense is a kind of incense, which is to say room freshener.Keep Christmas Commercialized!
P. J. O’Rourke
December 6, 2014
I could smell the patchouli oil he was wearing as well as the incense that was burning in the studio.
Every few days he would give me a fresh supply of incense he got directly from India, fragrances I had never before experienced.
What was the material of the novice habit, what kind of incense did they inhale, what was on the plate at dinner.Historical Fiction: A Conversation Between Bruce Holsinger and Nancy Bilyeau
Nancy Bilyeau, Bruce Holsinger
March 30, 2014
Candles, seashells, incense and a miniature Buddha were among the offerings left on the makeshift altar at the base of the tree.A Tale of Two Trees
November 5, 2011
He worships every handsome woman, who will allow herself to be polluted by his incense.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
No doubt she could evolve a delicious gum from the mesquite and the incense plant.Her Father's Daughter
His nostrils tasted the incense of fresh earth and growing things.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
Every day some new matter was reported to incense her against me.Memoirs of Marguerite de Valois, Complete
Marguerite de Valois, Queen of Navarre
They spoke to him in a language of love, warm, fragrant as incense.Abbe Mouret's Transgression
- any of various aromatic substances burnt for their fragrant odour, esp in religious ceremonies
- the odour or smoke so produced
- any pleasant fragrant odour; aroma
- rare homage or adulation
- to burn incense in honour of (a deity)
- (tr) to perfume or fumigate with incense
- (tr) to enrage greatly
Word Origin and History for incense
late 13c., from Old French encens "sweet-smelling substance," from Late Latin incensum (nominative incensus) "burnt incense," literally "something burnt," neuter past participle of Latin incendere "set on fire" (see incendiary).
"to offer incense, perfume with incense," c.1300, from Old French encenser, from encens (see incense (n.)).