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

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Other Words from dense

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

Synonyms & Antonyms for dense

Synonyms

Antonyms

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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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web The proposal comes as cities throughout the Bay Area prioritize building dense housing near public transportation to address the region’s housing crisis. Sarah Ravani, San Francisco Chronicle, 19 May 2021 Tower dwelling lost its luster instantly when the perks of easy urban living – being near shops, dining and stages – came to a halt due to the pandemic and businesses closed, causing an exodus of workers to less-dense housing with a garden space. oregonlive, 13 May 2021 Because of rainwater runoff on the steep hillside over the centuries, these areas have built up a dense layer of chalk mixed with silt and spoil, like the ingrained grime of a returnee from sleepaway camp. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 12 May 2021 That gives the boulevard something in common with Little Italy, which many consider a model for dense housing helping a neighborhood flourish. David Garrick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 Apr. 2021 Officials and experts have long noted that lower-income Latino neighborhoods are highly susceptible to the spread of the coronavirus because of dense housing and crowded living conditions. Luke Money, Los Angeles Times, 15 Apr. 2021 The fires burn away the top layer of moss and grass, and burn into the peat, which is a dense layer of ancient plant material. Theresa Machemer, Smithsonian Magazine, 9 Apr. 2021 Thatch is a dense layer of living and dead organic material that accumulates on the surface of your soil. Allen Foster, chicagotribune.com, 24 Mar. 2021 Boxwood push new growth where they're cut, Filippone explains, so shearing (clipping only the outermost layer of leaves) leads to a dense outer layer that blocks light and air from reaching the center. Lauren Dunec Hoang, Better Homes & Gardens, 25 Feb. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for dense

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for dense

Last Updated

11 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Dense.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dense. Accessed 17 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for dense

dense

adjective

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

Choose the Right Synonym for dense

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on dense

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dense

Nglish: Translation of dense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dense for Arabic Speakers

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