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See more synonyms for dense on Thesaurus.com
adjective, dens·er, dens·est.
  1. having the component parts closely compacted together; crowded or compact: a dense forest; dense population.
  2. stupid; slow-witted; dull.
  3. intense; extreme: dense ignorance.
  4. relatively opaque; transmitting little light, as a photographic negative, optical glass, or color.
  5. difficult to understand or follow because of being closely packed with ideas or complexities of style: a dense philosophical essay.
  6. 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.
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Origin of dense

1590–1600; < Latin dēnsus thick; cognate with Greek dasýs
Related formsdense·ly, adverbdense·ness, nounnon·dense·ness, nounsu·per·dense, adjectiveul·tra·dense, adjective


See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. congested, crammed, teeming; impenetrable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


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

British Dictionary definitions for denseness


  1. thickly crowded or closely seta dense crowd
  2. thick; impenetrablea dense fog
  3. physics having a high density
  4. stupid; dull; obtuse
  5. (of a photographic negative) having many dark or exposed areas
  6. (of an optical glass, colour, etc) transmitting little or no light
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Derived Formsdensely, adverbdenseness, 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

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper