in·​tense | \ in-ˈten(t)s How to pronounce intense (audio) \

Definition of intense

1a : existing in an extreme degree The excitement was intense. intense pain
b : having or showing a characteristic in extreme degree intense colors
2 : marked by or expressive of great zeal, energy, determination, or concentration intense effort
3a : exhibiting strong feeling or earnestness of purpose an intense student
b : deeply felt

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Other Words from intense

intensely adverb
intenseness noun

Examples of intense in a Sentence

He shielded his eyes from the intense flash of light. She has an intense dislike for her husband's friend. After many years of intense study, he received his medical degree. School reform is a subject of intense debate. The work requires intense concentration. He was an intense young man who was very determined to do well in school.
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Recent Examples on the Web His comments are part of the increasingly intense competition over which measures will be included in the next, broader economic package that Biden plans to propose once Congress passes the initial $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package. Los Angeles Times, "Democrats push long-term move against child poverty," 24 Feb. 2021 But despite intense scrutiny and a litany of court cases, no evidence has emerged to support the idea that there was widespread voter fraud nearly large enough to affect the result of the presidential election. Tyler Olson, Fox News, "CPAC readies for Florida gathering amid COVID-19, as conservatives ready for Trump bonanza," 24 Feb. 2021 Analysts have primarily said the increase was the result of home shortages and a lack of active listings across the nation that led to intense competition. Phillip Molnar, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego home prices end year up 13 percent," 23 Feb. 2021 That created intense competition for employees and drove wage growth at or above 3% for 20 consecutive pre-pandemic months. Andy Puzder, WSJ, "‘Stimulus’ Does Little for Jobs," 21 Feb. 2021 They were forced into looking into new areas for students because of a shrinking pool of high school graduates in Michigan and intense competition for them., "Growing diversity at Albion College," 11 Feb. 2021 As much as people like to compare Petco to PetSmart, its long time big-box rival, Coughlin sees the most intense competition coming from the likes of Chewy and other digital-first players. Phil Wahba, Fortune, "Petco jumps 67% in its return to the stock market," 14 Jan. 2021 Private-equity ownership has been a problem for many other retailers in recent years, such as Toys R Us, which liquidated after accumulating too much debt and facing intense competition. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "More store closings in 2021? These are the most vulnerable major retailers of 2021 as pandemic continues," 30 Dec. 2020 Despite the stakes, some pharmaceutical companies with relevant expertise chose not to enter the race, perhaps dissuaded by intense competition. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "How Science Beat the Virus," 17 Dec. 2020

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

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

History and Etymology for intense

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin intensus, from past participle of intendere to stretch out

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Time Traveler for intense

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for intense

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for intense



English Language Learners Definition of intense

: very great in degree : very strong
: done with or showing great energy, enthusiasm, or effort
of a person : very serious


in·​tense | \ in-ˈtens How to pronounce intense (audio) \

Kids Definition of intense

1 : very great in degree : extreme intense heat
2 : done with great energy, enthusiasm, or effort intense concentration
3 : having very strong feelings an intense person

Other Words from intense

intensely adverb


in·​tense | \ in-ˈten(t)s How to pronounce intense (audio) \

Medical Definition of intense

1a : existing in an extreme degree intense anxiety
b : extremely marked or pronounced a neurodermatitis with intense itching and burning of the skin— H. G. Armstrong
c : very large or considerable intense radiation
2a : feeling deeply especially by nature or temperament
b : deeply felt intense emotions

Other Words from intense

intensely adverb

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Comments on intense

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