den·​si·​ty | \ ˈden(t)-sə-tē How to pronounce density (audio) \
plural densities

Definition of density

1 : the quality or state of being dense measures of traffic density the density of the cake felt that the candidate's density on the subject of equality was alarming the density of her prose
2 mathematics : the quantity per unit of volume (see volume entry 1 sense 2), unit of area (see area sense 1), or unit of length: such as
a chemistry : the mass (see mass entry 2 sense 1c) of a substance per unit of volume pure iron has a density of 7.8 grams per cubic centimeter
b chemistry : the distribution of a quantity (such as electricity or energy) per unit usually of space (such as length, area, or volume) The drawback to using ethanol as a complete replacement for gasoline, however, is not only the high cost of its production from cellulose but also its lower energy density.— John R. Regalbuto
c : the average number of individuals or units per unit of space a population density of 500 per square mile a housing density of 10 houses per acre
3 physics
a : the degree of opacity (see opacity sense 2) of a translucent medium the fog's density
b : the common logarithm of the opacity

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Examples of density in a Sentence

We were surprised by the fog's density. the density of her writing style These instruments are used for measuring the density of the atmosphere.
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Recent Examples on the Web And there’s only one commercial robotaxi service operating in the U.S. with no human drivers at all, a small-scale operation limited to low-density parts of the Phoenix metro area, from Alphabet subsidiary Waymo. Christopher Mims, WSJ, 5 June 2021 These are historically low-volume traffic roads in low-density population areas, which explains why sensitive resources along these roads have remained pristine. Bill Pollnow, Star Tribune, 2 June 2021 The mineral is believed to toughen the teeth of the sometimes 14-inch chiton without adding extra weight, due to its high water content and low density, Joster said. Asha C. Gilbert, USA TODAY, 1 June 2021 Airbnb has also seen a growth in trips to low-density urban areas, suburbs, and small towns, from 26% in 2018, to 35%, this year, Chesky said. Lila Maclellan, Quartz, 24 May 2021 Interest in low-density offices reportedly increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Roger Vincent Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 21 May 2021 These include seeking outdoor-centric destinations with lots of space, fresh air, breezes and low population density. Larry Olmsted, Forbes, 20 May 2021 The low-density area has been very popular with pandemic-era vacationers looking to steer clear of crowds. Marnie Hunter, CNN, 16 May 2021 Joyride is a service operating in multiple cities, particularly in high-density areas such as college campuses. Carol Robinson |, al, 3 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'density.' 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 density

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for density

see dense

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Learn More About density

Time Traveler for density

Time Traveler

The first known use of density was in 1598

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Statistics for density

Last Updated

14 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Density.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for density



English Language Learners Definition of density

: the quality of having parts that are close together
: the quality of being difficult to see through
: the quality of being difficult to understand


den·​si·​ty | \ ˈden-sə-tē How to pronounce density (audio) \
plural densities

Kids Definition of density

1 : the condition of having parts that are close together the jungle's density
2 : the amount of something in a specified volume or area high population density


den·​si·​ty | \ ˈden(t)-sət-ē, -stē How to pronounce density (audio) \
plural densities

Medical Definition of density

1 : the quantity per unit volume, unit area, or unit length: as
a : the mass of a substance per unit volume
b : the distribution of a quantity (as mass, electricity, or energy) per unit usually of space
c : the average number of individuals or units per space unit a population density of 500 per square mile
2a : the degree of opacity of a translucent medium

More from Merriam-Webster on density

Nglish: Translation of density for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of density for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about density


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