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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.
Origin of intensify
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 intensifies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It is evident that life in a separate college for women often intensifies this defect.

    Applied Eugenics Paul Popenoe and Roswell Hill Johnson
  • Benedick, reporting to the same tune, intensifies his misery.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • Yellow fever always comes in waves; it subsides and intensifies alternately.

    A Desperate Voyage Edward Frederick Knight
  • It only intensifies the pain and doesnt work much of a cure.

    The Making of Bobby Burnit George Randolph Chester
  • Here all the elements come in: and something with them that enlivens and intensifies them all.

    The English Novel George Saintsbury
British Dictionary definitions for intensifies


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 intensifies



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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