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See also: incensé



From Middle English encens, from Old French encens (sweet-smelling substance) from Late Latin incensum (burnt incense, literally something burnt), neuter past participle of incendō (I set on fire). Compare incendiary. Cognate with Spanish encender and incienso.


  • Noun:
    • enPR: ĭn'sĕns, IPA(key): /ˈɪnsɛns/
    • (file)
  • Verb:
  • Rhymes: (verb) -ɛns


English Wikipedia has an article on:

incense (countable and uncountable, plural incenses)

  1. A perfume used in the rites of various religions.
    • 1820, [Walter Scott], chapter XIII, in The Abbot. [], volume I, Edinburgh: [] [James Ballantyne & Co.] for Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, and Brown, []; and for Archibald Constable and Company, and John Ballantyne, [], →OCLC, page 281:
      When the folding-doors were on such solemn occasions thrown open, and the new Abbot appeared on the threshold in full-blown dignity, with ring and mitre, and dalmatique and crosier, his hoary standard-bearers and his juvenile dispensers of incense preceding him, and the venerable train of monks behind him, with all besides which could announce the supreme authority to which he was now raised, his appearance was a signal for the magnificent jubilate to rise from the organ and music-loft, and to be joined by the corresponding bursts of Alleluiah from the whole assembled congregation.
  2. (figurative) Homage; adulation.


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incense (third-person singular simple present incenses, present participle incensing, simple past and past participle incensed)

  1. (obsolete) To set on fire; to inflame; to kindle; to burn.
  2. (transitive) To anger or infuriate.
    I think it would incense him to learn the truth.
  3. (archaic) To incite, stimulate.
  4. (transitive) To offer incense to.
    • late 14th century, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Second Nun's Tale, The Canterbury Tales, line 410-413:
      And after this Almachius hastily
      Bad his ministres fecchen openly
      Cecile, so that she mighte in his presence
      Doon sacrifyce, and Iupiter encense.
      And after this, Almachius hastily
      Ordered his ministers to fetch publicly
      Cecile, so that she might in his presence
      Do sacrifice and burn incense to Jupiter.
  5. (transitive) To perfume with, or as with, incense.






  1. inflection of incensar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative




  1. vocative masculine singular of incēnsus


  • incense”, in Charlton T. Lewis and Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
  • incense in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition with additions by D. P. Carpenterius, Adelungius and others, edited by Léopold Favre, 1883–1887)
  • incense in Gaffiot, Félix (1934) Dictionnaire illustré latin-français, Hachette
  • incense”, in The Perseus Project (1999) Perseus Encyclopedia[1]
  • incense”, in Harry Thurston Peck, editor (1898) Harper's Dictionary of Classical Antiquities, New York: Harper & Brothers




  1. inflection of incensar:
    1. first/third-person singular present subjunctive
    2. third-person singular imperative