[ in-tens ]
/ ɪnˈtɛns /


Nearby words

  1. intending,
  2. intendment,
  3. intenerate,
  4. intens,
  5. intens.,
  6. intensely,
  7. intensification,
  8. intensifier,
  9. intensify,
  10. intension

Origin of intense

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin intēnsus, variant of intentus intent2, past participle of intendere to intend. See in-2, tense1

Related forms
Can be confusedintense intensive intents Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intense

British Dictionary definitions for intense


/ (ɪnˈtɛns) /


of extreme force, strength, degree, or amountintense heat
characterized by deep or forceful feelingsan intense person
Derived Formsintensely, adverbintenseness, noun

Word Origin for intense

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


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)

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 intense



c.1400, from Middle French intense (13c.), from Latin intensus "stretched, strained, tight," originally past participle of intendere "to stretch out, strain" (see intend); thus, literally, "high-strung." Related: Intensely.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper