"cause (someone) to understand," c.1400, ensense, from Old French ensenser "to enlighten, to bring to sense," from en- "in" (see in- (2)) + sens (see sense (n.)). Restricted to Northern English dialect from 17c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Examples from the Web for insense

Historical Examples of insense

  • The King had been hard to insense (cause to understand: still a Northern provincialism) at the first.

    In Convent Walls

    Emily Sarah Holt

  • Well, we all sat down on a old motor chassis or what was left of it, and burned them smokes like insense, not speaking a word!

    Believe You Me!

    Nina Wilcox Putnam