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as in slow
not having or showing an ability to absorb ideas readily she accused him of being dense when he didn't seem to understand her at first

Synonyms & Similar Words

Antonyms & Near Antonyms

Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective dense contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of dense are crass, dull, dumb, and stupid. While all these words mean "lacking in power to absorb ideas or impressions," dense implies a thickheaded imperviousness to ideas.

too dense to take a hint

When can crass be used instead of dense?

The words crass and dense can be used in similar contexts, but crass suggests a grossness of mind precluding discrimination or delicacy.

a crass, materialistic people

When might dull be a better fit than dense?

While the synonyms dull and dense are close in meaning, dull suggests a slow or sluggish mind such as results from disease, depression, or shock.

monotonous work that leaves the mind dull

When would dumb be a good substitute for dense?

The meanings of dumb and dense largely overlap; however, dumb applies to an exasperating obtuseness or lack of comprehension.

too dumb to figure out what's going on

When is it sensible to use stupid instead of dense?

The words stupid and dense are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, stupid implies a slow-witted or dazed state of mind that may be either congenital or temporary.

stupid students just keeping the seats warm
stupid with drink

Thesaurus Entries Near dense

Cite this Entry

“Dense.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dense. Accessed 2 Dec. 2022.

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