[ dens ]
See synonyms for: densedenser on

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.

  1. intense; extreme: dense ignorance.

  2. relatively opaque; transmitting little light, as a photographic negative, optical glass, or color.

  3. difficult to understand or follow because of being closely packed with ideas or complexities of style: a dense philosophical essay.

  4. 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

First recorded in 1590–1600; from Latin dēnsus “thick”; cognate with Greek dasýs

Other words for dense

Other words from dense

  • densely, adverb
  • denseness, noun
  • non·dense·ness, noun
  • su·per·dense, adjective
  • ul·tra·dense, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use dense in a sentence

  • In fact a respectable wreath of smoke is quite substantial compared with the densest of the comets.

    Gospel Philosophy | J. H. Ward
  • Probably the densest forests in the world are those in the Amazon region of South America.

  • In time of danger they conceal themselves in the densest brushwood, out of which they do not emerge until the peril is past.

    Little Folks | Various
  • It was one of those natural clearings that are so often found in the densest forests.

  • The cannoneer chose the densest red of the advancing mass, and sent the shot straight to the mark.

    In Hostile Red | Joseph Altsheler

British Dictionary definitions for dense


/ (dɛns) /

  1. thickly crowded or closely set: a dense crowd

  2. thick; impenetrable: a dense fog

  1. physics having a high density

  2. stupid; dull; obtuse

  3. (of a photographic negative) having many dark or exposed areas

  4. (of an optical glass, colour, etc) transmitting little or no light

Origin of dense

C15: from Latin densus thick; related to Greek dasus thickly covered with hair or leaves

Derived forms of dense

  • densely, adverb
  • denseness, noun

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