A diradical approach to obtain stable organic dyes with intense absorption around λ=1100 nm is reported. The para- and meta-quinodimethane-bridged BODIPY dimers BD-1 and BD-2 were synthesized and were found to have a small amount of diradical character. These molecules exhibited very intense absorption at λ=1088 nm (ε=6.65×105 M-1 cm-1) and 1136 nm (ε=6.44×105 M-1 cm-1), respectively, together with large two-photon-absorption cross-sections. Structural isomerization induced little variation in their diradical character but distinctive differences in their physical properties. Moreover, the compounds showed a selective fluorescence turn-on response in the presence of the hydroxyl radical but not with other reactive oxygen species. © 2016 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA.