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increase definition


This page has 8 definitions of increase in English. Increase is a verb and noun. Examples of how to use increase in a sentence are shown. Also define these 0 related words and terms: .

See also: Increase


Alternative forms


From Middle English encresen, borrowed from Anglo-Norman encreistre, from Latin increscere (increase), present active infinitive of increscō, from in (in, on) + crescō (grow).

The noun is from Middle English encres, from the verb.


  • (verb): enPR: ĭnkrēsʹ, IPA(key): /ɪnˈkɹiːs/
  • (file)
  • (noun): enPR: ĭnʹkrēs, IPA(key): /ˈɪnkɹiːs/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːs
  • Hyphenation: in‧crease


increase (third-person singular simple present increases, present participle increasing, simple past and past participle increased)

  1. (intransitive) (of a quantity, etc.) To become larger or greater.
    His rage only increased when I told him of the lost money.
  2. (transitive) To make (a quantity, etc.) larger.
    • 2013 July-August, Fenella Saunders, “Tiny Lenses See the Big Picture”, in American Scientist:
      The single-imaging optic of the mammalian eye offers some distinct visual advantages. Such lenses can take in photons from a wide range of angles, increasing light sensitivity. They also have high spatial resolution, resolving incoming images in minute detail.
  3. To multiply by the production of young; to be fertile, fruitful, or prolific.
    • a. 1677, Matthew Hale, The Primitive Origination of Mankind, Considered and Examined According to the Light of Nature, London: [] William Godbid, for William Shrowsbery, [], published 1677, OCLC 42005461:
      Fishes are infinitely more numerous of increasing than Beasts or Birds, as appears by the numerous Spawn.
  4. (astronomy, intransitive) To become more nearly full; to show more of the surface; to wax.
    The Moon increases.



Derived terms



increase (countable and uncountable, plural increases)

  1. An amount by which a quantity is increased.
  2. For a quantity, the act or process of becoming larger
  3. Offspring, progeny
    • 1599, [Thomas] Nashe, Nashes Lenten Stuffe, [], London: [] [Thomas Judson and Valentine Simmes] for N[icholas] L[ing] and C[uthbert] B[urby] [], OCLC 228714942, page 2:
      That infortunate imperfit Embrion of my idle houres the Ile of Dogs before mentioned, breeding vnto me ſuch bitter throwes in the teaming as it did, and the tempeſtes that aroſe at his birth, ſo aſtoniſhing outragious and violent as if my braine had bene conceiued of another Hercules, I was ſo terrifyed with my owne encreaſe (like a woman long trauailing to bee deliuered of a monſter) that it was no ſooner borne but I was glad to run from it.
  4. (knitting) The creation of one or more new stitches; see Increase (knitting).




Further reading