dense

adjective
\ ˈden(t)s How to pronounce dense (audio) \
denser; densest

Definition of dense

1a : marked by compactness or crowding together of parts dense vegetation dense traffic
b chemistry : having a high mass (see mass entry 2 sense 1c) per unit volume (see volume entry 1 sense 2) Carbon dioxide is a dense gas. The cake was overly sweet and dense.
2a : slow to understand : stupid, thickheaded was too dense to get the joke
b : extreme dense ignorance
3 mathematics : having between any two elements at least one element The set of rational numbers is dense.
4 : demanding concentration to follow or comprehend dense prose
5 : having high or relatively high opacity (see opacity sense 2) a dense fog a dense photographic negative

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from dense

densely adverb
denseness \ ˈden(t)-​snəs How to pronounce denseness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dense

Synonyms

Antonyms

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Choose the Right Synonym for dense

stupid, dull, dense, crass, dumb mean lacking in power to absorb ideas or impressions. stupid implies a slow-witted or dazed state of mind that may be either congenital or temporary. stupid students just keeping the seats warm stupid with drink dull suggests a slow or sluggish mind such as results from disease, depression, or shock. monotonous work that leaves the mind dull dense implies a thickheaded imperviousness to ideas. too dense to take a hint crass suggests a grossness of mind precluding discrimination or delicacy. a crass, materialistic people dumb applies to an exasperating obtuseness or lack of comprehension. too dumb to figure out what's going on

dense, thick, and compact mean having parts that are gathered tightly together. dense is used of something in which the parts are very close together. They lost their way in the dense forest. thick is used of something that has many small parts that form a single mass. He has a thick head of hair. compact is used of something that has a close and firm gathering of parts, especially within a small area. The laptop has a compact design.

Examples of dense in a Sentence

They cut a path through the dense jungle. a dense tangle of wires a dense cluster of stars That part of the city has a dense population of immigrants. A dense mass of spectators filled the courtroom. In the movie, she plays his kind but somewhat dense aunt.
See More
Recent Examples on the Web But each residential community is only allocated three or four taxis, hardly enough for dense sites housing thousands of people. Nectar Gan, CNN, "In coronavirus-stricken Wuhan, an army of volunteers is offering a lifeline to those under lockdown," 7 Feb. 2020 Some of the fog may become dense with visibility dropping below a quarter mile in some locations. Dallas News, "Watch for fog Monday morning," 26 Jan. 2020 Each structure was built with mud bricks as dense as concrete. Brett Murphy, USA Today, "Inside the U.S. military raid against its own security guards that left dozens of Afghan children dead," 30 Dec. 2019 This autonomous region of Spain lying along the Bay of Biscay, dense with trees that run up hillsides, dotted by wild marshland, and scalloped with tidy beaches, isn’t located between Madrid and Barcelona. Chiara Goia, National Geographic, "Discover why this stunning region is Spain’s best-kept secret," 14 Dec. 2019 The cakes, dense with ginger and other spices and suet, are a true taste of the past. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "These Delicious Christmas Pastries Rely on More Than Nostalgia," 6 Dec. 2019 This was probably enabled by the relatively low density of the material; the researchers estimate that Hygiea is less than twice as dense as water. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Collision liquified the 4th-largest asteroid, turning it into a dwarf planet," 29 Oct. 2019 The dough is not as dense as a corndog, and the sausage is delicious - not fennel-tasting at all. Marc Bona, cleveland.com, "Market Garden Brewery: Northeast Ohio’s best weekend brunches, breakfasts," 22 June 2019 The beating sheet is an efficient means of sampling dense, streamside vegetation, where adult insects hide. Boris Kondratieff, The Conversation, "Stoneflies and mayflies, canaries of our streams," 22 Jan. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of dense

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for dense

Latin densus; akin to Greek dasys thick with hair or leaves

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dense

Time Traveler for dense

Time Traveler

The first known use of dense was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Statistics for dense

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Dense.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dense. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for dense

dense

adjective
How to pronounce dense (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dense

: having parts that are close together
: crowded with people
informal : not smart : not able to understand things easily

dense

adjective
\ ˈdens How to pronounce dense (audio) \
denser; densest

Kids Definition of dense

1 : having its parts crowded together : thick dense vegetation dense fog
2 : stupid sense 1 I'm not dense enough to believe this story.

Other Words from dense

densely adverb a densely populated region

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dense

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dense

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dense

Spanish Central: Translation of dense

Nglish: Translation of dense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dense for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dense

What made you want to look up dense? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!