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 denseness (audio) \ noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for dense

Synonyms

close, compact, crowded, jam-packed, packed, serried, thick, tight

Antonyms

airy, loose, open, uncrowded

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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

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Jars of dense, black volcanic soils from Sicily and clay-limestone soils behind bold sangiovese wines from Tuscany, Rinaudi explains, enhance the appreciation of the wine itself. Simran Sethi, Washington Post, "Banca del Vino celebrates Italian winemaking by honoring time and place," 13 Sep. 2019 There are myriad options here, lighter and heavier — fresh, lovely ingredients keep them nutrient dense, too, which means those calories have worth! Amy Drew Thompson, orlandosentinel.com, "Good vibes reggae, eats at 3Natives | Review," 12 Sep. 2019 Because the flames inside the structure were so dense, at one point all the firefighters inside were forced to evacuate and fight the fire from the exterior, Capracotta said. BostonGlobe.com, "Sixteen residents were displaced, but no one was seriously injured in a 4-alarm fire in Providence early Wednesday, according to the Providence Fire Department.," 12 Sep. 2019 Within the rising cloud, the icy particulate is dense, which means collisions are frequent and the system quickly charges and discharges in mostly vertical lightning. Michael Peterson, National Geographic, "Record-breaking lightning as long as Kansas spotted," 22 Aug. 2019 Though both are heavy and dense, their physical natures are strikingly different. The Economist, "Gravitational astronomy proves its maturity," 22 Aug. 2019 Even without any greenhouse gases, the atmosphere can't possibly be much more dense than Earth's, even though the planet is substantially larger. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Super-Earth at a nearby star is a Mercury-like hunk of rock," 20 Aug. 2019 Plus, high water volume foods are almost always more nutrient-dense, like unsweetened dairy products (Greek yogurt, milk) or produce (especially melons, carrots, zucchini, and tomatoes). Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Everything You Need to Know About Weight Watchers' New Kurbo App for Kids," 17 Aug. 2019 The prose is dense, occasionally impenetrable, with chewy passages that can feel, in the moment, like unnecessary discursions, though most prove essential by the story’s fateful finale. Barbara Vandenburgh, USA TODAY, "Téa Obreht follows up 'The Tiger's Wife' with 'Inland' a haunted, fantastical Western," 13 Aug. 2019

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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Dictionary Entries near dense

de novo

Denpasar

densate

dense

densen

densifier

densify

Statistics for dense

Last Updated

11 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for dense

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

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on dense

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dense

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for dense

Spanish Central: Translation of dense

Nglish: Translation of dense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dense for Arabic Speakers

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