- 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
SynonymsSee more synonyms for dense on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for dense
He had a special knife designed to cut the dense loaf, and a ceremony to precede cutting the cake.One Cake to Rule Them All: How Stollen Stole Our Hearts
December 24, 2014
The narrowest piece of land was at Panama, but it was covered in dense, mountainous jungle.China’s Nicaragua Canal Could Spark a New Central America Revolution
November 30, 2014
For those in the dense forests, beaches, and towns of West Africa, it is a real threat.The Sham, Scaremongering Guide to Ebola
November 20, 2014
These days they are occasional meteorological irruptions, white river mists, not dense and toxic industrial pea-soupers.Sherlock Holmes Vs. Jack the Ripper
November 16, 2014
In the dense atmosphere of tobacco and conspiracy, one hot topic has been the death penalty.Ukraine Rebels Love Russia, Hate Gays, Threaten Executions
October 25, 2014
Persons of every class are crowded together, here, in one dense mass.Sunday under Three Heads
Volley after volley was poured into the dense mass, at deadly range.The Story of the Malakand Field Force
Sir Winston S. Churchill
No break occurred, and presently I was stopped by a dense thicket of bushes.Green Mansions
W. H. Hudson
The day was sultry, and the heat, even in the dense shade of the jungle, oppressive.The Monster Men
Edgar Rice Burroughs
But when he was a half-mile on the other side he drew into a dense cluster of bushes and waited.The Rock of Chickamauga
Joseph A. Altsheler
- thickly crowded or closely seta dense crowd
- thick; impenetrablea 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
Word Origin and History for dense
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.