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 Under intense pressure, cities competed to raise the most money. USA Today, "100 years ago, Philadelphia chose a parade over social distancing during the 1918 Spanish flu – and paid a heavy price," 22 May 2020 That's to be celebrated, especially under the intense pressure of daily press conferences and having to make major decisions that have great short-term and long-term impact on nearly 12 million people. Jason Williams,, "PX column: In appreciation of Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine's thick skin," 21 May 2020 But heavy predation is presumed, over time, to place intense selection pressure on prey to develop a fear of the new species. Lesley Evans Ogden, Scientific American, "Shyness Helps Parrotfish Survive Invasive Predators," 19 May 2020 Wittemyer said the Chinese government will face intense domestic and international pressure to keep its current ban in place, and other world leaders should also be motivated to step up tracking and enforcement. Deirdre Shesgreen, USA TODAY, "'A loaded gun:' Wet markets, wildlife trafficking pose threat for the next pandemic," 16 May 2020 To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web browser that supports HTML5 video Finding solace in a small hotel Doug Gollan was under intense personal and professional pressure in January 2002. Mark Ellwood, Condé Nast Traveler, "When a Hotel Is Home: 10 Insiders on Living With Room Service," 14 May 2020 The latest production cuts by Saudi Arabia, the world's largest oil exporter, underscore the intense pressure the oil crash has put on the Middle East nation's budget. Matt Egan, CNN, "Saudi Arabia scrambles to boost oil prices and revive the market it helped crash," 11 May 2020 The company’s decision to donate remdesivir reflects intense public pressure for companies not to profit off the coronavirus crisis. Olivia Goldhill, Quartz, "The US government will dole out remdesivir to cities based on “urgent” need," 3 May 2020 During the pandemic, ICE has come under intense pressure from advocates and human rights groups to downsize its detainee population, which has dropped by about 7,000 since early March and reached just under 30,000 last week. CBS News, ""Never prepared": Report details poor conditions at ICE jails with coronavirus cases," 30 Apr. 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

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

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Statistics for intense

Last Updated

29 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Intense.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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How to pronounce intense (audio)

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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for intense

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with intense

Spanish Central: Translation of intense

Nglish: Translation of intense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intense for Arabic Speakers

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