Meaning of DENSE in English


ˈden(t)s adjective

( -er/-est )

Etymology: Latin densus; akin to Greek dasys thick with hair or leaves, Hittite dassuš strong


a. : marked by an arrangement of parts or units so crowded or massed together as to defy penetration : notably lacking empty spaces or unfilled intervals

the backs of the pinafores were dense with buttons — Natacha Stewart

if I went into dense jungle, by the time I was out of sight I was also lost — Agnes N. Keith

b. : crowded very close together : massed together with little or no intervening space and consequently obstructing easy penetration through : concentrated in large numbers in a limited space

every balcony, every housetop was crammed with a dense mass of spectators — J.G.Frazer

dense hardwood hammocks alternate with vast swamps — American Guide Series: Florida

the dense print of the directory — Jean Stafford

2. biology : compact

a dense flower spike


a. : insensible or dull

human error's dense and purblind faith — P.B.Shelley

b. : mentally dull : slow-witted , thick-headed

c. : extreme , intense

dense stupidity


a. : marked by solidly interwoven texture, by texture permitting thick matting, by deep dark color, by opaqueness or other obstruction to passage of light, or by massive concentration

a dense fabric

lost in a dense fog

the heart is a dense organ for X-ray purposes

her pallor made her dark hair seem denser — Edith Wharton

b. : marked by presentation without lighter or less significant passages and demanding concentration to follow or comprehend

her prose … so dense … that it is all but impenetrable — New Yorker

5. mathematics : having between any two elements at least one element and hence an infinity of elements

a set or proper fractions arranged in order of size is dense

6. : possessing relatively great retarding power upon light waves and consequently relatively great refractive power — used especially of optical glass

7. : having high or relatively high density — used of a photographic negative or a positive transparency

Synonyms: see close , stupid

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.