\ ˈden How to pronounce den (audio) \

Definition of den

 (Entry 1 of 3)

1 : the lair of a wild usually predatory animal
2a(1) : a hollow or cavern used especially as a hideout
(2) : a center of secret activity
b : a small usually squalid dwelling
3 : a comfortable usually secluded room
4 : a subdivision of a Cub Scout pack made up of two or more boys
5 British : a small structure built by children as a place to play, hide, or provide shelter We roamed the fields and made dens in the hedges, dragging old logs and brushwood with scraps of canvas and rope to make shelters to hide in.— Pat Smith


denned; denning

Definition of den (Entry 2 of 3)

intransitive verb

: to live in or retire to a den polar bears den in ice caves or snowdrifts

transitive verb

: to drive into a den

Definition of Den (Entry 3 of 3)


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Synonyms for den

Synonyms: Noun

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Examples of den in a Sentence

Noun The bears will spend most of the winter in their den. The TV is in the den. He spent most evenings in the den reading and smoking his pipe.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Higher-end versions of the truck will be available with options to turn the cab into an office space or a sleeping den. Peter Valdes-dapena, CNN, "Ford's powerful new F-150 offers fully reclining seats, a bottle opener, and a hybrid option," 25 June 2020 The kitchen connects to a breakfast room and den that are surrounded by windows overlooking the back patio and yard. Dallas News, "Peek inside this nearly 15,000-square-foot home on a gated property in Preston Hollow," 24 June 2020 The fandom was born on 4chan, the largest den of chaos and toxic beliefs available on the internet. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, "My Little Pony Fans Are Ready to Admit They Have a Nazi Problem," 23 June 2020 This photo had nothing to do with the rule changes, but was captured by an ADF&G trail camera set to monitor the den. Tyler Freel, Outdoor Life, "Alaska’s Bear Hunting Regulation Changes Aren’t as Sensational as They Sound," 22 June 2020 The den, complete with lattice windows and a wet bar, is painted glossy green, while the formal dining room was turned gold during Strauss’ stay. Jack Flemming, Los Angeles Times, "Disney+ boss Ricky Strauss serves up regal home above Sunset Strip," 19 June 2020 Growing up, her parents’ home overflowed with lush green houseplants – the foyer had a 20-foot palm tree, long vines trailed from the kitchen to the den, the backyard had ferns and hosta plants – and her chore was caring for them all. Jessica Guynn, USA Today, "Broken glass, broken dreams: Small businesses ravaged by protests and COVID-19 contemplate an uncertain future," 16 June 2020 The past few weeks have been busy, with the kits exploring around the den entrance, tumbling and tussling with each other, all under the watchful eyes of their mom and dad. Bridget E. Hamilton, National Geographic, "Amazing animal dads," 16 June 2020 The downstairs master suite features dual marble bathrooms and provides access to a den/study. Allie Morris, Dallas News, "Highland Park features ‘natural beauty, special homes’," 7 June 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Dave Crowley, a biologist with the Alaska Department of Fish and Game who oversees the region, says this area is prime bear-denning territory. Acacia Johnson, National Geographic, "The risky plan to haul minerals from a mine in the Alaska wilderness," 14 Jan. 2020 Typically, black bears enter their dens in October, with most brown bears denning by November, Battle said. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Brown bear killed after it raided chicken coop in Eagle River Valley," 13 Nov. 2019 Many grizzly bears have denned up for winter hibernation by the time a significant number of elk remains have accumulated, study team leader Frank van Manen wrote recently in the academic journal Ursus. USA TODAY, "MLK, robot unemployment, Python Bowl: News from around our 50 states," 14 Jan. 2020 Little One's mate, Anana, has been denning since Nov. 1. Briana Rice,, "Cincinnati Zoo's male polar bear Little One celebrates 30th birthday," 13 Dec. 2019 The groups sought information on an application by a company to conduct three-dimensional seismic exploration that could disturb denning polar bears. Dan Joling, Anchorage Daily News, "Groups sue for information on Arctic refuge lease sale," 31 July 2019 In the winter, the animals will den underground, commonly returning to the same spot year after year, and often commune there with other snake species, such as rat snakes and rattlesnakes. National Geographic, "Copperheads," 22 July 2019 Still just 17 years old, Van den Berg had already made 22 appearances for the Eredivisie side, with 15 of those coming last season., "Jurgen Klopp Delighted With New Signing Sepp van den Berg as Liverpool Return to Training," 7 July 2019 Encircle the bottom of your porch with fencing to prevent animals from denning underneath. Karen Pilarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "A deer and dog had a wild encounter in a Wauwatosa backyard," 10 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'den.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of den


before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1


13th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense

History and Etymology for den


Middle English, from Old English denn; akin to Old English denu valley, Old High German tenni threshing floor

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Time Traveler for den

Time Traveler

The first known use of den was before the 12th century

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Statistics for den

Last Updated

30 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Den.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2020.

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More Definitions for den


How to pronounce Den (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of den

: the home of some kinds of wild animals
US : an informal and comfortable room in a house
chiefly British, informal + old-fashioned : a small and quiet room in a house where someone goes to read, work, etc.


\ ˈden How to pronounce den (audio) \

Kids Definition of den

1 : the shelter or resting place of a wild animal a fox's den
2 : a quiet or private room in a home
3 : a hiding place (as for thieves)

Legal Definition of den


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More from Merriam-Webster on den

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for den

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with den

Spanish Central: Translation of den

Nglish: Translation of den for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of den for Arabic Speakers

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