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[verb in-krees; noun in-krees] /verb ɪnˈkris; noun ˈɪn kris/
verb (used with object), increased, increasing.
to make greater, as in number, size, strength, or quality; augment; add to:
to increase taxes.
verb (used without object), increased, increasing.
to become greater, as in number, size, strength, or quality:
Sales of automobiles increased last year.
to multiply by propagation.
to wax, as the moon.
growth or augmentation in numbers, size, strength, quality, etc.:
the increase of crime.
the act or process of increasing.
that by which something is increased.
the result of increasing.
produce of the earth.
product; profit; interest.
  1. multiplication by propagation; production of offspring.
  2. offspring; progeny.
Origin of increase
1275-1325; Middle English incresen, encresen < Anglo-French encres-, Middle French encreiss-, stem of encreistre < Latin incrēscere, equivalent to in- in-2 + crēscere to grow; see crescent
Related forms
increasable, adjective
[in-kree-sid-lee] /ɪnˈkri sɪd li/ (Show IPA),
nonincreasable, adjective
nonincrease, noun
preincrease, noun
preincrease, verb (used with object), preincreased, preincreasing.
proincrease, adjective
quasi-increased, adjective
reincrease, verb, reincreased, reincreasing, noun
superincrease, verb (used with object), superincreased, superincreasing.
superincrease, noun
unincreasable, adjective
unincreased, adjective
1. expand, extend, prolong. Increase, augment, enlarge may all mean to make larger. To increase means to make greater, as in quantity, extent, degree: to increase someone's salary; to increase the velocity; to increase the (degree of ) concentration. Enlarge means to make greater in size, extent, or range: to enlarge a building, a business, one's conceptions. Augment, a more formal word, means to make greater, especially by addition from the outside: to augment one's income (by doing extra work ). 3. expand, grow, develop, swell. 6. enlargement, expansion.
1, 3. decrease. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for increase
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The worthy man was overjoyed to be able to increase his daughter's happiness.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • If he should deserve an increase by and by, it would be all very well.

    Deerbrook Harriet Martineau
  • Consequently the increase in exports and in imports grew steadily.

    James Madison Sydney Howard Gay
  • To increase the heat, blasts of hot air are blown into the bottom of the furnace.

    Diggers in the Earth Eva March Tappan
  • That pleases me, and I study to be useful to him in every way I can, so as to increase his regard.

British Dictionary definitions for increase


verb (ɪnˈkriːs)
to make or become greater in size, degree, frequency, etc; grow or expand
noun (ˈɪnkriːs)
the act of increasing; augmentation
the amount by which something increases
on the increase, increasing, esp becoming more frequent
Derived Forms
increasable, adjective
increasedly (ɪnˈkriːsɪdlɪ), increasingly, adverb
increaser, noun
Word Origin
C14: from Old French encreistre, from Latin incrēscere, from in-² + crēscere to grow
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for increase

early 14c., "become greater in size or number; to cause to grow, enlarge," from Anglo-French encress-, Old French encreiss-, present participle stem of encreistre, from Latin increscere "to increase, to grow upon, grow over, swell, grow into," from in- "in" (see in- (2)) + crescere "to grow" (see crescent). Latin spelling restored 15c. Related: Increased; increasing.


late 14c., "action of increasing; results of an increasing," from increase (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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