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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 intensify
  • Doctors advise against warm treatments, which can intensify itching.
  • Threats against climate scientists appear to intensify if they speak up in the nation's policy debate.
  • The probability is that political nerves will both intensify the economic slowdown at home and worsen pressure on the rand.
  • Natural though the fires may be, humans intensify the scale.
  • The spring drought forecast says the dry conditions are going to persist and, in some areas, intensify.
  • All of those changes intensify the difficulty of moving from one role to the other.
  • All it needs to do, officials say, is extend and intensify existing security measures.
  • As the online resources grow more common, this conflict will intensify.
  • The high seasonal humidity in many of the region's cities would act to trap fallout and intensify its effects.
  • Stimulant use can cause temporary thought disorder or intensify an underlying thought disorder or hypomanic state.
British Dictionary definitions for intensify


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 intensify

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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