early 15c., of situations or qualities, "great, extreme," from Old French intense (13c.), from Latin intensus "stretched, strained, high-strung, tight," originally past participle of intendere in its literal sense of "stretch out, strain" (see intend). From 1630s of persons, "high-strung." Related: Intensely; intenseness.
updated on December 13, 2015
Dictionary entries near intense