Definition of cense in English:



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

    • ‘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.’’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


Late Middle English: from Old French encenser.