incense

1 of 3

noun

in·​cense ˈin-ˌsen(t)s How to pronounce incense (audio)
1
: material used to produce a fragrant odor when burned
2
: the perfume exhaled from some spices and gums when burned
broadly : a pleasing scent
3
: pleasing attention : flattery

incense

2 of 3

verb (1)

in·​cense ˈin-ˌsen(t)s How to pronounce incense (audio)
incensed; incensing

transitive verb

1
: to apply or offer incense to
2
: to perfume with incense

incense

3 of 3

verb (2)

in·​cense in-ˈsen(t)s How to pronounce incense (audio)
incensed; incensing

transitive verb

1
: to arouse the extreme anger or indignation of
2
archaic : to cause (a passion or emotion) to become aroused

Examples of incense in a Sentence

Noun the heavenly incense of spring flowers count on the office manager to spread the incense whenever there's a visiting VIP from the head office Verb (1) the gift shop was heavily incensed with a cloying mixture of herbal essences Verb (2) the insult so incensed him that he had to be restrained from hitting the guy
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
These ceremonies occur at night under the guidance of a healer with candles, flowers, incense and an altar with Catholic images. Leila Miller, Los Angeles Times, 25 June 2024 Back in Westminster Memorial Park, where Tran and the rest of the attendees moved the Memorial Day processions to plant incense and South Vietnamese flags to honor 81 unknown Vietnamese airmen, a few local Vietnamese language reporters stood by, waiting to interview Tran. Ken Tran, USA TODAY, 9 June 2024
Verb
The move will probably incense conservative lawmakers who say Biden plays fast and loose with the law to the detriment of taxpayers. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel, Washington Post, 28 June 2024 This decision inexplicably incenses Brooks, who believes that Stanbury’s misstep is tantamount to a high-court offense. Shamira Ibrahim, Vulture, 11 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for incense 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'incense.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

Noun

Middle English encens, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin incensum, from Latin, neuter of incensus, past participle of incendere to set on fire, from in- + -cendere to burn; akin to Latin candēre to glow — more at candid

Verb (2)

Middle English encensen, probably from Latin incensus, past participle of incendere to set on fire, provoke

First Known Use

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (1)

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Verb (2)

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of incense was in the 13th century

Dictionary Entries Near incense

Cite this Entry

“Incense.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incense. Accessed 25 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

incense

1 of 2 noun
in·​cense ˈin-ˌsen(t)s How to pronounce incense (audio)
1
a
: material used to produce a fragrant odor when burned
b
: the odor so produced
2
: a pleasing scent

incense

2 of 2 verb
in·​cense
in-ˈsen(t)s
incensed; incensing
: to make very angry

More from Merriam-Webster on incense

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