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

Exercise doesn’t have to be super sweaty or intense to be effective. Samantha Cassetty, NBC News, "Overindulge this weekend? This 'Summer Mondays' routine will help you hit the reset button," 8 July 2019 In listening to scientists talk about the intense and frequent shaking in Kern County in recent days, the terms clearly help them describe the shaking – and prioritize it to themselves and to the public. Ryan Carter, The Mercury News, "Earthquakes: ‘Foreshock,’ ‘mainshock,’ ‘aftershock,’ ‘pre-shock’ – what’s the difference?," 8 July 2019 The problem is the logistics, bureaucracy and intense resistance from residents that often comes with any proposal to increase homeless services in a specific neighborhood. Trisha Thadani,, "Mayor Breed promised 1,000 new shelter beds by end of 2020. Will she meet her goal?," 5 July 2019 What’s more, Higareda gives an intense and emotional performance that conveys that anxiety, even as her character refuses to be kept down by it. Anne Cohen,, "Hulu’s Culture Shock Turns The American Dream Into An Immigration Horror Nightmare," 5 July 2019 For example, an analysis of a heatwave that hit parts of Europe in July last year, which was less intense but longer-lived than the latest one, found that climate change made its occurrence more than twice as likely in many of the places affected. Quirin Schiermeier, Scientific American, "Climate Change Made Europe’s Mega-Heatwave Five Times More Likely," 3 July 2019 Over the many, many years of intense rivalry, Brazil have had the edge over their neighbours to the south, with Seleção winning 43 matches in comparison to the 38 wins of La Albiceleste., "5 Classic Clashes Between Brazil & Argentina Ahead of Wednesday's Copa America Semi-Final," 2 July 2019 The hunt for a suspect was intense and police had a lot to work with. CBS News, "Podcast spotlights Mississippi double murder – can new DNA technology solve the cold case?," 29 June 2019 But lately, warehouse work has become more complex, intense and time-pressured with workers picking and packing many orders of individual products to ship directly to shoppers. Keiko Morris, WSJ, "Warehouse Design Steals a Page From Tech Playbook," 25 June 2019

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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Statistics for intense

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for intense

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on intense

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intense

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intense

Spanish Central: Translation of intense

Nglish: Translation of intense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intense for Arabic Speakers

Comments on intense

What made you want to look up intense? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to complain fretfully

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