Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to an extreme degree: the intense sun of the tropics.
  • adj. Extreme in degree, strength, or size: intense heat.
  • adj. Involving or showing strain or extreme effort: intense concentration.
  • adj. Deeply felt; profound: intense emotion.
  • adj. Tending to feel deeply: an intense writer.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Strained; tightly drawn; kept on the stretch; strict; very close or earnest; as, intense study or application; intense thought.
  • adj. Extreme in degree; excessive; immoderate; as: (a) Ardent; fervent; as, intense heat. (b) Keen; biting; as, intense cold. (c) Vehement; earnest; exceedingly strong; as, intense passion or hate. (d) Very severe; violent; as, intense pain or anguish. (e) Deep; strong; brilliant; as, intense color or light.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Strained; tightly drawn; kept on the stretch; strict; very close or earnest
  • adj. Extreme in degree; excessive; immoderate
  • adj. Ardent; fervent.
  • adj. Keen; biting.
  • adj. Vehement; earnest; exceedingly strong.
  • adj. Very severe; violent.
  • adj. Deep; strong; brilliant.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Existing in or having a high degree; strong; powerful: as, intense pain; intense activity; hence, extreme or absolute of its kind; having its characteristic qualities in a high degree.
  • Exhibiting a high degree of some quality or action.
  • Susceptible to strong emotion; emotional.
  • In photography, same as dense, 3.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to a heightened degree
  • adj. extremely sharp or intense
  • adj. (of color) having the highest saturation

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old French, from Latin intēnsus, stretched, intent, from past participle of intendere, to stretch, intend; see intend.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle French intense, from Latin intensus ("stretched tight"), past participle of intendere ("to stretch out"), from in ("in, upon, to") + tendere ("to stretch"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Gamers experience "urgent optimism," which she describes as the intense desire to achieve something combined with the unwavering belief that anything is possible.

    Craig and Marc Kielburger: Playing Video Games for Social Change

  • She leads viewers so far then abandons them to wander and wonder in areas of what she calls "intense unknowability".

    This week's new exhibitions

  • They traveled to the DRC last month and are trying to draw attention to what they call the intense suffering of the Congolese people.

    Actor, Activist Ben Affleck Urges US to Help DRC

  • Some former aides bristled at what they called her intense focus on building her public image.

    Behind a GOP Contender's Iowa Surge

  • Cee Cee expected Max to recoil, but he pulled Oscar into an easy embrace and just held him, his eyes closed, his expression intense.

    Captured by Moonlight

  • While drawing blood and trying to revive her, six ER workers got sick after smelling what they described as intense ammonia-like fumes from Ramirez.

    Tales From The Crypt

  • Tuesday, D.A. Lacy defended the decision to arrest Karr despite what she called intense criticism that she be “tarred and feathered.”

    False Confessions

  • Gerard said, sitting forward in his chair, his expression intense.

    Laced

  • Massive grapefruit-level swelling and discoloration, and what she described as intense burning from toxins.

    Eat or Be Eaten

  • And, after two days of what he described as intense house-to-house fighting, their young commander made this pronouncement.

    CNN Transcript Jul 25, 2006

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