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 The statement said that as overnight temperatures get cooler, mosquito activity right around dusk and dawn may get more intense., 16 Sep. 2021 But this week, preliminary findings from a massive new study have revealed that global warming’s impact on young people’s well-being is far more intense than anyone predicted. Liza Featherstone, The New Republic, 16 Sep. 2021 The new fire underscores the growing danger that faster, more intense fires pose to the sequoias. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 Needless to say, the series, which has turned into a whodunit, is about to get even more intense. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, 15 Sep. 2021 Climate change is projected to continue causing more intense droughts and hotter conditions, fueling the fires that threaten the stability of utilities. Lucas Haldeman, Forbes, 14 Sep. 2021 Those less powerful fires burn off just enough kindling to make forests less susceptible to more intense fires. Stephanie Elam, CNN, 7 Sep. 2021 In Augustn2020, the controversy grew even more intense. Peter Van Sant, CBS News, 4 Sep. 2021 The rivalry is probably more intense on the recruiting trail these days. Matt Murschel,, 2 Sep. 2021

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

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

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 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
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on intense

Nglish: Translation of intense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intense for Arabic Speakers


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