- the lair or shelter of a wild animal, especially a predatory mammal.
- a room, often secluded, in a house or apartment, designed to provide a quiet, comfortable, and informal atmosphere for conversation, reading, writing, etc.
- a cave used as a place of shelter or concealment.
- a squalid or vile abode or place: dens of misery.
- one of the units of a cub scout pack, analogous to a patrol in the Boy Scouts.
verb (used with object), denned, den·ning.
- to drive or pursue (an animal) into its den.
- to kill (an animal) inside its den.
verb (used without object), denned, den·ning.
- to live in or as if in a den.
- the habitat or retreat of a lion or similar wild animal; lair
- a small or secluded room in a home, often used for carrying on a hobby
- a squalid or wretched room or retreat
- a site or haunta den of vice
- Scot a small wooded valley; dingle
- Scot and Northern English dialect a place of sanctuary in certain catching games; home or base
verb dens, denning or denned
- (intr) to live in or as if in a den
Old English denn “wild animal’s lair,” from Proto-Germanic *danjan (cf. Middle Low German denne “lowland, wooded vale, den,” Old English denu “valley,” Old Frisian dene “down,” Old High German tenni, German tenne “threshing floor,” from PIE *dan- “low ground”). Sense of “small room” is 1771, originally colloquial.