Share this entry

Share this page

dense

Syllabification: dense
Pronunciation: /dens
 
/

Definition of dense in English:

adjective

1Closely compacted in substance: dense volcanic rock swirling, dense smoke
More example sentences
  • Then it's sent to a bale press, which compresses loose cotton into compact, dense bales.
  • Rugosa roses make up a dense, compact hedge at the end of the garden without distracting from the sea view.
  • The long DNA chain is naturally compacted in a dense form in most biological systems.
Synonyms
thick, heavy, opaque, soupy, murky, smoggy;
concentrated, condensed
1.1Having the constituent parts crowded closely together: an estuary dense with marine life
More example sentences
  • It was slow work, for the trees were close, and in places dense with the bare vines and stalks of undergrowth.
  • The very words ‘fruit cake’ suggest a heavy, rich and wintry confection, dense with dried fruits and redolent of brandy.
  • Then you go back to work and suddenly the day is so dense with activity you feel as if you've done three or four days' worth of mindless tearing around in a few hours.
Synonyms
thick, close-packed, tightly packed, closely set, close-set, crowded, crammed, compact, solid, tight;
overgrown, jungly, impenetrable, impassable
2 informal (Of a person) stupid.
Example sentences
  • The American agent looked at Logan as if he were a math teacher trying to explain a simple problem to a dense student.
  • After thinking about it for a while, the rather dense teacher said, ‘yes’.
  • Even a relatively dense dad like myself could sense that something was wrong.
Synonyms
3(Of a text) hard to understand because of complexity of ideas.
Example sentences
  • Once you've got past the first layer of the menu system, which uses a screen full of icons, the subsequent menus are dense lists of text.
  • I love the Mahabharata: it's one of the most complex, meaning dense documents ever written.
  • With 650 pages packed with dense text, this is obviously designed for the Christmas market.

Origin

late Middle English: from Latin densus.

Derivatives

denseness

1
noun
Example sentences
  • The denseness of imagery often works against sense and clarity.
  • Due to the size and denseness of Hong Kong, there really is no reason for many residents to own cars.
  • One hand pressed across my mouth while the other snapped like a vice around my waist dragging me back into the shadowy denseness of the forest.

Definition of dense in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…