Definition of intense in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛns/

adjective (intenser, intensest)

1Of extreme force, degree, or strength: the job demands intense concentration the heat was intense an intense blue
More example sentences
  • For weeks, the Syrians have been uprooting their troops and tanks, forced to withdraw under intense international and Lebanese pressure.
  • The public service and the defence force, under intense practical and political pressure, are players in what has become a compelling political thriller.
  • Under intense pressure it was forced to yield him.
1.1(Of an action) highly concentrated: a phase of intense activity
More example sentences
  • Well, again, the type of very vigorous, very intense activity generally is a matter of months after surgery like this.
  • Dutch researchers said recently that regular moderate exercise can burn energy and help shed those extra pounds or kilos more than short infrequent bursts of intense activity.
  • The announcement, made by junior agriculture minister Baroness Hayman in the House of Lords, followed a day of intense activity after the disease was confirmed at an Essex abattoir.
2Having or showing strong feelings or opinions; extremely earnest or serious: an intense young woman, passionate about her art a burning and intense look
More example sentences
  • He was a very earnest and intense young man, whose character was in keeping with his guitar playing.
  • On the one hand he's very enthusiastic and intense and can be serious, but he's also such a laugh, and so expressive that he wins you over.
  • No, I was not always so disciplined or serious, intense or passionate, but now I am.


Intense and intensive are clearly similar in meaning, but they differ in emphasis. Intense tends to relate to subjective responses—emotions and how we feel—while intensive tends to relate to objective descriptions. Thus, an intensive course simply describes the type of course: one that is designed to cover a lot of ground in a short time, e.g. by being full-time rather than part-time. On the other hand, in the course was intense, intense describes how someone felt about the course.



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈtɛnsnəs/
Example sentences
  • The intenseness of the kiss was increasing, dangerously.
  • He had not, however, experienced the kind of emotions that were needed to properly convey the intenseness of the last of the loves.
  • The intenseness of his eyes sent shivers up and down her spine.


Late Middle English: from Old French, or from Latin intensus 'stretched tightly, strained', past participle of intendere (see intend).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|tense

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