Definition of cense in English:



[WITH OBJECT]archaic
  • Perfume (something) ritually with the odor of burning incense.

    • ‘There was also a small chorus and a number of non-speaking parts, including the butcher who cut up the model hippo and priests who censed the space with myrrh before the performance and moved props.’
    • ‘Norbert sang the antiphons and censed the sanctuary - I felt as though I was moving about in a dark room where strange figures brushed up against my shoulders, and strange voices guided me along.’
    • ‘Apart from some postering and hanging banners in the space, the performance began with a solitary priest walking around the space, censing it with myrrh.’
    • ‘Near the end, as the Eastern Rite bishops were censing the coffin, he found himself weeping. ‘I'm crying,’ he explained to his son, ‘because of what the church isn't.’’


Late Middle English: from Old French encenser.