What does incense mean?

Definitions for incense
ˈɪn sɛnsin·cense

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word incense.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. incensenoun

    a substance that produces a fragrant odor when burned

  2. incenseverb

    the pleasing scent produced when incense is burned

    "incense filled the room"

  3. cense, incense, thurifyverb

    perfume especially with a censer

  4. infuriate, exasperate, incenseverb

    make furious


  1. incensenoun

    A perfume often used in the rites of various religions.

  2. incenseverb

    To anger or infuriate.

    I think it would incense him to learn the truth.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Incensenoun

    Perfumes exhaled by fire in honour of some god or goddess.

    Etymology: incensum, Latin, a thing burnt; encens, French.

    Upon such sacrifices, my Cordelia,
    The gods themselves throw incense. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Numa the rites of strict religion knew;
    On ev'ry altar laid the incense due. Matthew Prior.

  2. To INCENSEverb

    To enkindle to rage; to inflame with anger; to enrage; to provoke; to irritate to anger; to heat; to fire; to make furious; to exasperate.

    Etymology: incensus, Latin.

    The world, too saucy with the gods,
    Incenses them to send destruction. William Shakespeare, Julius Cæsar.

    If 'gainst yourself you be incens'd, we'll put you,
    Like one that means his proper harm, in manacles. William Shakespeare.

    He is attended with a desp'rate train;
    And what they may incense him to, being apt
    To have his ear abus'd, wisdom bids fear. William Shakespeare, K. Lear.

    Tractable obedience is a slave
    To each incensed will. William Shakespeare, Henry VIII.

    Foul idolatries and other faults,
    Heap'd to the popular sum, will so incense
    God as to leave them. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xii.

    How could my pious son thy pow'r incense?
    Or what, alas! is vanquish'd Troy's offence? John Dryden, Æn.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Incenseverb

    to set on fire; to inflame; to kindle; to burn

  2. Incenseverb

    to inflame with anger; to endkindle; to fire; to incite; to provoke; to heat; to madden

  3. Incensenoun

    to offer incense to. See Incense

  4. Incensenoun

    to perfume with, or as with, incense

  5. Incensenoun

    the perfume or odors exhaled from spices and gums when burned in celebrating religious rites or as an offering to some deity

  6. Incensenoun

    the materials used for the purpose of producing a perfume when burned, as fragrant gums, spices, frankincense, etc

  7. Incensenoun

    also used figuratively

  8. Etymology: [OE. encens, F. encens, L. incensum, fr. incensus, p. p. of incendere to burn. See Incense to inflame.]


  1. Incense

    Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term incense refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odour that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, and for creating a spiritual atmosphere. Incense is composed of aromatic plant materials, often combined with essential oils. The forms taken by incense differ with the underlying culture, and have changed with advances in technology and increasing diversity in the reasons for burning it. Incense can generally be separated into two main types: "indirect-burning" and "direct-burning". Indirect-burning incense is not capable of burning on its own, and requires a separate heat source. Direct-burning incense is lit directly by a flame and then fanned or blown out, leaving a glowing ember that smoulders and releases fragrance. Direct-burning incense is either a paste formed around a bamboo stick, or a paste that is extruded into a stick or cone shape.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Incense

    in-sens′, v.t. to inflame with anger: to incite, urge: to perfume with incense.—n. In′cense, odour of spices burned in religious rites: the materials so burned: pleasing perfume: (fig.) homage, adulation.—adj. In′cense-breath′ing, exhaling incense or fragrance.—ns. Incense′ment (Shak.), state of being inflamed with anger; Incens′or (obs.), a censer.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Incense

    a fragrance which arises from the burning of certain gums and burnt in connection with sundry religious observances, particularly in the Roman Catholic Church, as an expression of praise presumably well pleasing to God; a practice which Protestants repudiate as without warrant in Scripture.

Matched Categories

How to pronounce incense?

How to say incense in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of incense in Chaldean Numerology is: 9

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of incense in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of incense in a Sentence

  1. Hung Tzu-ch'eng:

    When the mind is possessed of reality, it feels tranquil and joyous even without music or song, and it produces a pure fragrance even without incense or tea.

  2. Patrick McGovern:

    The proposal that the cannabis was heated to release psychoactive compounds, rather than for its aroma as an incense (provided by the frankincense, in any case), is an intriguing proposition.

  3. Lisa Niziolek:

    Lisa Niziolek explained. In addition to ceramics, the ship was also carrying elephant tusks, possibly for use in medicine or art. Sweet-smelling resin, which could have been used for incense or for caulking ships, was also found. Previous carbon dating of the tusks and resin had dated the wreck to between 700 and 750 years ago. However, improved carbon dating techniques tell a different story. PIRATE MYSTERY : DOES THIS 300-YEAR-OLD BONE BELONG TO' BLACK SAM' BELLAMY ? When we got the results back and learned that the resin and tusk samples were older than previously thought, we were excited, we had suspected that based on inscriptions on the ceramics and conversations with colleagues in China and Japan, and it was great to have all these different types of data coming together to support it.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for incense

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for incense »


Find a translation for the incense definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these incense definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "incense." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 26 Sep. 2022. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/incense>.

    Are we missing a good definition for incense? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Image or illustration of


    Credit »

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    pass through the tissue or substance or its pores or interstices, as of gas
    • A. rumpus
    • B. abide
    • C. affront
    • D. transpire

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for incense: