1. The shelter or retreat of a wild animal; a lair.
2. A cave or hollow used as a refuge or hiding place.
3. A hidden or squalid dwelling place: a den of thieves.
4. A secluded room for study or relaxation.
5. A unit of about eight to ten Cub Scouts.
intr.v. denned, den·ning, dens
To inhabit or hide in a den.
[Middle English, from Old English denn.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2022 by HarperCollins Publishers. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.