Thesaurus

dense

adjective

Synonyms & Antonyms of dense

1 having little space between items or parts
  • the dense soil in the garden

Synonyms for dense

Words Related to dense

Near Antonyms for dense

Antonyms for dense

2 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 for dense

Words Related to dense

Near Antonyms for dense

Antonyms for dense

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About dense

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about dense

Time Traveler for dense

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Cite this Entry

“Dense.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/dense. Accessed 18 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on dense

Dictionary: Definition of dense

Nglish: Translation of dense for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dense for Arabic Speakers

Comments on dense

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

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!