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[in-ten-suh-fahy] /ɪnˈtɛn səˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), intensified, intensifying.
to make intense or more intense.
to make more acute; strengthen or sharpen.
Photography. to increase the density and contrast of (a negative) chemically.
verb (used without object), intensified, intensifying.
to become intense or more intense.
1810-20; intense + -ify
Related forms
intensification, noun
de-intensify, verb, de-intensified, de-intensifying.
overintensification, noun
overintensify, verb, overintensified, overintensifying.
self-intensified, adjective
self-intensifying, adjective
unintensified, adjective
Can be confused
aggravate, annoy, intensify, irritate, worsen (see synonym study at aggravate)
aggravation, annoyance, intensification, irritation, worsening.
1, 2. deepen, quicken, concentrate. See aggravate.
1. alleviate, weaken. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for intensified
  • Federal and state authorities have strengthened laws and intensified prosecutions to discourage looting in this country.
  • The greenhouse effect is a vital natural phenomenon, intensified by human activity.
  • And urban pollution has been blamed for intensified electricity and lightning in storms over cities.
  • Recently the anticipation intensified with the discovery of a richly decorated canine skeleton near a sealed entrance.
  • The researchers found that the microseisms' power increased with time, perhaps as storm winds intensified or changed direction.
  • The effect of this intensified phase of land reform has been catastrophic.
  • Eventually, the footsteps went back up the stairs and the clatter intensified.
  • They immediately noticed some behavioral issues that have since intensified.
  • Efforts of this type must be expanded and intensified.
  • Many countries' focus on graduation rates has intensified efforts to retain more students, largely with support services.
British Dictionary definitions for intensified


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
to make or become intense or more intense
(transitive) to increase the density of (a photographic film or plate)
Derived Forms
intensification, noun
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 intensified



1817, from intense + -ify, first attested in Coleridge, in place of intend, which he said no longer was felt as connected with intense. Middle English used intensen (v.) "to increase (something), strengthen, intensify," early 15c. Related: Intensified; intensifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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