adjective, dens·er, dens·est.

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 formsdense·ly, adverbdense·ness, nounnon·dense·ness, nounsu·per·dense, adjectiveul·tra·dense, adjective

Synonyms for dense

1. congested, crammed, teeming; impenetrable. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for denser

Contemporary Examples of denser

Historical Examples of denser

  • What would crush a swift-thinking man is upborne by the denser tide.

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Along the denser shadows the three crept to a position in the rear of the natives.

    The Monster Men

    Edgar Rice Burroughs

  • A shoot of gold which is darker and denser than the rest is called adamant.



  • Neptune is denser than Saturn, which, by the hypothesis, it ought not to be.

  • Denser and denser grew the gloom, and now there was a roaring as of a great wind.

    The Trail of '98

    Robert W. Service

British Dictionary definitions for denser



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
Derived Formsdensely, adverbdenseness, noun

Word Origin for dense

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 denser



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