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  1. existing or occurring in a high or extreme degree: intense heat.
  2. acute, strong, or vehement, as sensations, feelings, or emotions: intense anger.
  3. of an extreme kind; very great, as in strength, keenness, severity, or the like: an intense gale.
  4. having a characteristic quality in a high degree: The intense sunlight was blinding.
  5. strenuous or earnest, as activity, exertion, diligence, or thought: an intense life.
  6. exhibiting a high degree of some quality or action.
  7. having or showing great strength, strong feeling, or tension, as a person, the face, or language.
  8. susceptible to strong emotion; emotional: an intense person.
  9. (of color) very deep: intense red.
  10. Photography. dense(def 4).

Origin of intense

1350–1400; Middle English < Latin intēnsus, variant of intentus intent2, past participle of intendere to intend. See in-2, tense1
Related formsin·tense·ly, adverbin·tense·ness, nounhy·per·in·tense, adjectivehy·per·in·tense·ly, adverbhy·per·in·tense·ness, nouno·ver·in·tense, adjectiveo·ver·in·tense·ly, adverbo·ver·in·tense·ness, nounsu·per·in·tense, adjectivesu·per·in·tense·ly, adverbsu·per·in·tense·ness, noun
Can be confusedintense intensive intents

Synonyms for intense

See more synonyms for on Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for intensely

very, strongly, fiercely, profoundly, vehemently

Examples from the Web for intensely

Contemporary Examples of intensely

Historical Examples of intensely

British Dictionary definitions for intensely


  1. of extreme force, strength, degree, or amountintense heat
  2. 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 intensely



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