[ in-tens ]
See synonyms for: intenseintenselyintenseness on

  1. existing or occurring in a high or extreme degree: intense heat.

  2. acute, strong, or vehement, as sensations, feelings, or emotions: intense anger.

  1. of an extreme kind; very great, as in strength, keenness, severity, or the like: an intense gale.

  2. having a characteristic quality in a high degree: The intense sunlight was blinding.

  3. strenuous or earnest, as activity, exertion, diligence, or thought: an intense life.

  4. exhibiting a high degree of some quality or action.

  5. having or showing great strength, strong feeling, or tension, as a person, the face, or language.

  6. susceptible to strong emotion; emotional: an intense person.

  7. (of color) very deep: intense red.

  8. Photography. dense (def. 4).

Origin of intense

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English, from Latin intēnsus, variant of intentus, past participle of the verb intendere “to stretch toward”; see in-2, tense1, intent2, intend

Other words for intense

Other words from intense

  • in·tense·ly, adverb
  • in·tense·ness, noun
  • hy·per·in·tense, adjective
  • hy·per·in·tense·ness, noun
  • o·ver·in·tense, adjective
  • o·ver·in·tense·ness, noun
  • su·per·in·tense, adjective
  • su·per·in·tense·ness, noun

Words that may be confused with intense

Words Nearby intense Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use intense in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for intense


/ (ɪnˈtɛns) /

  1. of extreme force, strength, degree, or amount: intense heat

  2. characterized by deep or forceful feelings: an intense person

Origin of intense

C14: from Latin intensus stretched, from intendere to stretch out; see intend

usage For intense

Intense is sometimes wrongly used where intensive is meant: the land is under intensive (not intense) cultivation. Intensely is sometimes wrongly used where intently is meant: he listened intently (not intensely)

Derived forms of intense

  • intensely, adverb
  • intenseness, 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