"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.

Nearby words

  1. insemination,
  2. insemination ,
  3. inseminator,
  4. insenescence,
  5. insensate,
  6. insensibility,
  7. insensible,
  8. insensible perspiration,
  9. insensibly,
  10. insensitive

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Examples from the Web for insense

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

    In Convent Walls|Emily Sarah Holt