Main definitions of incense in English

: incense1incense2

incense1

noun

mass noun
  • 1A gum, spice, or other substance that is burned for the sweet smell it produces.

    ‘the sharp lingering sweetness of incense’
    as modifier ‘incense sticks’
    • ‘We would then all bow before the shrine, and my father would place incense on the altar.’
    • ‘He then lit the incense and let the smoke rise for a few moments before taking it and walking around the room muttering the same words he had spoken before.’
    • ‘Instead, they burn incense and other sweet odors and light candles.’
    • ‘You could burn incense sticks or light a scented candle.’
    • ‘The entire congregation later filed past the head of the coffin each member making a sign of the cross with a strange implement whilst on the coffin a small salver of incense smoked away.’
    • ‘There will be a statue of Buddha, candles, and an incense burner.’
    • ‘Impressionist paintings hung on the walls and sandalwood incense released a sweet scent.’
    • ‘She always had some sandalwood incense burning when she sang, or wrote.’
    • ‘I turned on the CD player and watched as Amanda lit the incense.’
    • ‘The people also held various kinds of burial rituals and burnt incense on special days.’
    • ‘I lit some incense and laid down flowers and choked my way through the Scriptures.’
    • ‘Myrrh is a fragrant gum resin used in making incense, perfume, and herbal medicine, and in ancient times it was also employed in embalming.’
    • ‘They lit candles, chanted oaths, and burned incense.’
    • ‘We step inside and the smell of burning incense hits me like a lightning bolt.’
    • ‘When the time comes, settle yourself in front of the area, light the candle, and open the bottle of perfume or light the incense.’
    • ‘Thinking of people close to me, lit a candle and burnt incense in memory of them.’
    • ‘In the morning sunshine, local villagers climbed up to the mountain, burnt incense and prayed.’
    • ‘Set the incense cone directly atop the lighting point on the trail.’
    • ‘He could see the cloth wrapped crystal next to the burned out incense stick.’
    • ‘I've also dedicated recent writing to her and burned incense to her almost daily.’
    perfume, fragrance, scent
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The smoke or perfume of incense.
      ‘the swirls of incense in the air’
      • ‘Automatically, his senses registered the smell of incense wafting through the air.’
      • ‘And his hair still smelled like incense and spices.’
      • ‘Luxurious silks drape the walls, candles flicker and the smell of incense fills the air.’
      • ‘I never imagined I would be laying here, with the scent of incense and jasmine filling my nose, lying this close to anyone, nearly drowning in them.’
      • ‘All you see is the mist of thick and perfumed incense.’
      • ‘The pungent aroma of incense filled the corridor as the door opened wider.’
      • ‘The great defender of traditional liturgy could also be its critic when he thought the fog of incense was merely hiding a vacancy at the altar.’
      • ‘The room was filed with stale smoke and faint incense, mixed with a strong odor of wine and ale.’
      • ‘The air eddies with charcoal smoke and incense.’
      • ‘Perfumed with incense and sandalwood and synonymous with soap and silk, it is among the most beautiful cities in the country.’
      • ‘But it returns to a recent past, in a softly lit yoga hall decorated in muted earthly tones and perfumed with incense.’
      • ‘The sweet smell of incense filled Hitomi's nose, making her feel slightly light-headed.’
      • ‘Priests chanted prayers and read from sacred texts as incense wafted from the corners of the temple.’
      • ‘Orthodox priests held a memorial service, and the blue smoke of incense smoke curled in the hot summer air.’
      • ‘The air in the church had been redolent with incense, thick and sweet-smelling.’
      • ‘She took in one final breath of the scent of the jasmine incense, the scent of the Goddess, one Angharad had adopted for herself.’
      • ‘The reception area smells of incense and curry.’
      • ‘The room was lit almost completely by soft candlelight, and the air was perfumed by sweet-smelling incense, and men smoking pipes filled with herbal concoctions.’
      • ‘The sweet smell of incense wafted in the evening wind.’

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Perfume with incense or a similar fragrance.

    ‘the aroma of cannabis incensed the air’

Origin

Middle English (originally as encense): from Old French encens (noun), encenser (verb), from ecclesiastical Latin incensum ‘something burnt, incense’, neuter past participle of incendere ‘set fire to’, from in- ‘in’ + the base of candere ‘to glow’.

Pronunciation

incense

/ˈɪnsɛns/

Main definitions of incense in English

: incense1incense2

incense2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Make very angry.

    ‘locals are incensed at the suggestion’
    • ‘Nothing incenses expatriates quite so much as the nation's Byzantine bureaucracy.’
    • ‘At least one artist was incensed by the curatorial insistence on deferring to local sensitivities.’
    • ‘The fans were incensed as the Frenchman lay still before a stretcher appeared then quickly disappeared.’
    • ‘Local soccer lovers were incensed and felt cheated when Bucks announced the match would be played in Port Elizabeth.’
    • ‘The Australian public, never a public to embrace political correctness, was absolutely incensed.’
    • ‘The industry has been incensed by suggestions that they are benefiting from the crisis.’
    • ‘However local hoteliers reacted angrily to the publishing of results and are incensed at the secrecy surrounding the tests.’
    • ‘Both times Sweden players, angered by the cheating and incensed by the lack of punishment, shouted at officials.’
    • ‘The other night when I was talking to my mother she was incensed that I wouldn't get any credit for this writing.’
    • ‘He emailed the photos to some global chiropractic website, garnishing international accolades for himself while incensing his wife.’
    • ‘That's the real reason I'm so incensed about this ban on the growing and consumption of cannabis.’
    • ‘The locals were incensed and came out of their homes to argue with the British soldiers.’
    • ‘The head of the committee in charge of overseeing the site has since walked out and accusations have been flying over exactly who is to blame for the delays that are increasingly incensing New Yorkers.’
    • ‘Nothing incenses me more than hearing that they are making money out of my misery.’
    • ‘Residents were incensed that police had fired some 45 shots in their neighborhood in the attempt to capture Jones.’
    • ‘I was absolutely incensed and outraged at their stupid bureaucracy and lack of compassion.’
    • ‘Locals from Mountmellick are incensed by the amount of household rubbish that is being illegally dumped in areas of the town.’
    • ‘A local woman was incensed and began a local petition to campaign to make the council change its mind.’
    • ‘The other unions are understood to be equally incensed.’
    enraged, very angry, irate, furious, infuriated, angered, in a temper, raging, incandescent, fuming, seething, beside oneself, outraged, in high dudgeon
    enrage, infuriate, anger, madden, send into a rage, outrage, inflame, exasperate, antagonize, provoke, irritate greatly, rile, gall
    View synonyms

Origin

Late Middle English (in the general sense ‘inflame or excite someone with a strong feeling’): from Old French incenser, from Latin incendere ‘set fire to’.

Pronunciation

incense

/ɪnˈsɛns/