Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Possessing or displaying a distinctive feature to an extreme degree.
  • adjective Extreme in degree, strength, or size.
  • adjective Involving or showing strain or extreme effort.
  • adjective Deeply felt; profound.
  • adjective Having or showing strong feeling or great seriousness.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • 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 the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Strained; tightly drawn; kept on the stretch; strict; very close or earnest; as, intense study or application; intense thought.
  • adjective 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 WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

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

Etymologies

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

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin intēnsus, stretched, intent, from past participle of intendere, to stretch, intend; see intend.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French intense, from Latin intensus ("stretched tight"), past participle of intendere ("to stretch out"), from in ("in, upon, to") + tendere ("to stretch").

Examples

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • My last camping trip was intense.

    April 2, 2009

  • I see what you did there.

    April 2, 2009

  • Patient: I'm a wig-wam. I'm a tee-pee.

    Doctor: Relax. You're two tents.

    April 2, 2009

  • *Chuckling* Thanks for the smiles.

    April 2, 2009