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

  • noun Exceptionally great concentration, power, or force.
  • noun Physics The amount or degree of strength of electricity, light, heat, or sound per unit area or volume.
  • noun The strength of a color, especially the degree to which it lacks its complementary color.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The character or state of being intense; the quantity or degree of a quality, action, or effect; degree; specifically, a high degree.
  • noun In physics and mech., the amount or degree of energy with which a force operates or a cause acts; effectiveness, as estimated by the result; the magnitude of a force, measured in appropriate units: as, the intensity of gravitation.
  • noun Used absolutely: Intense feeling or emotion; also, the exhibition or embodiment of intense feeling or emotion.
  • noun In photography, opacity or density, as of a negative. See intensification, 2.

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

  • noun The state or quality of being intense; intenseness; extreme degree
  • noun (Physics) The amount or degree of energy with which a force operates or a cause acts; effectiveness, as estimated by results produced.
  • noun (Mech.) The magnitude of a distributed force, as pressure, stress, weight, etc., per unit of surface, or of volume, as the case may be.
  • noun (Photog.) The degree or depth of color or shade in a picture.

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

  • noun the quality of being intense
  • noun the degree of strength
  • noun physics time-averaged energy flux (the ratio of average power to the area through which the power "flows"); irradiance
  • noun optics can mean any of radiant intensity, luminous intensity or irradiance
  • noun astronomy syn. radiance
  • noun geology The severity of an earthquake in terms of its effects on the earth's surface, and buildings. The value depends on the distance from the epicentre, and is not to be confused with the magnitude.

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

  • noun chromatic purity: freedom from dilution with white and hence vivid in hue
  • noun the magnitude of sound (usually in a specified direction)
  • noun the amount of energy transmitted (as by acoustic or electromagnetic radiation)
  • noun high level or degree; the property of being intense


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • In the most complicated, as in the most simple instances, the sophism consists in this: _Judging of the utility of labor by its duration and intensity, and not by its results_, which leads to this economic policy, _a reduction of the results of labor, in order to increase its duration and intensity_.

    Sophisms of the Protectionists Fr��d��ric Bastiat 1825

  • I think the difference in intensity is at least in part due to the difference in scale between the two policies: on the one hand a ban on a tiny category of abortions that affects a very small number of people (partial birth abortions are a only an infinitesmal fraction of all abortions, and many of those who get them could get earlier abortions instead).

    The Volokh Conspiracy » “Federalist Society Types” Were Committed to Judicial Enforcement of Federalism Long Before Obamacare 2010

  • Where the story starts to drop in intensity is well into the second half of the novel, which follows Rol as he traverses the seas as a sailor/officer.

    Archive 2008-03-01 2008

  • Perhaps that part of me forgets that the reason the planting experience grows in intensity is that misery is intense and additive, and treeplanting is fundamentally miserable. » Blog Archive » I Want to See What Treeplanting Is 2008

  • Where the story starts to drop in intensity is well into the second half of the novel, which follows Rol as he traverses the seas as a sailor/officer.

    Paul Kearney - The Mark of Ran (Book Review) 2008

  • The butler at Fordwych Castle had certainly missed the knife with which Roonah had been killed from its accustomed place on the morning after the murder had been committed, but not before, and the mystery further gained in intensity from the fact that the only purchase of chloroform in the district had been traced to the murdered woman herself.

    Lady Molly of Scotland Yard 1912

  • ROBERTS: And the discontent often drives in what we call intensity or enthusiasm for voters to come out to the polls.

    CNN Transcript Jan 19, 2010 2010

  • "I think the intensity is a little bit higher with this setup," he says.

    All-Star weekend line 1999

  • If, on the contrary, it is a question of a complex state, such as those impressions of profound joy or sorrow which lay hold of us entirely, invading and overwhelming us, what we call their intensity expresses only the confused feeling of a qualitative progress, and increasing wealth.

    A New Philosophy: Henri Bergson Edouard Louis Emmanuel Julien Le Roy 1912

  • It deepened in intensity, ringing the changes of reddish-yellow, purple, and saffron.

    In a Far Country 2010


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