From Middle English den, from Old English denn (“den, lair (of a beast), cave; a swine-pasture, a woodland pasture for swine”), from Proto-Germanic *danjō (“threshing-floor, barn-floor”), from Proto-Indo-European *dʰen- (“flat surface, board, sheet, area, palm of the hand”). Cognate with Scots den (“den, lair”), Middle Dutch denne (“burrow, den, cave, attic”), Dutch den (“ship's deck, threshing-floor, mountain floor”), Middle Low German denne, danne (“threshing-floor, small dale”), German Tenne (“threshing-floor, barn for threshing”).
den (plural dens)
- A small cavern or hollow place in the side of a hill, or among rocks; especially, a cave used by a wild animal for shelter or concealment.
- A squalid or wretched place; a haunt.
- A comfortable room not used for formal entertaining.
- (Britain, Scotland, obsolete) A narrow glen; a ravine; a dell.
den (third-person singular simple present dens, present participle denning, simple past and past participle denned)
- (reflexive) To ensconce or hide oneself in (or as in) a den.
From Old French denier, from Latin denarius.
den (not comparable)
- Eye dialect spelling of then, representing African American Vernacular English.