v. in·creased, in·creas·ing, in·creas·es
1. To become greater or larger.
2. To multiply; reproduce.
To make greater or larger.
1. The act of increasing: a steady increase in temperature.
2. The amount or rate by which something is increased: a tax increase of 15 percent.
3. Obsolete Reproduction and spread; propagation.
on the increase
Increasing, especially in frequency of occurrence: Crime is on the increase.
[Middle English encresen
, from Old French encreistre, encreiss-
, from Latin incrscere
, intensive pref.
; see in-2
, to grow
; see ker-2
in Indo-European roots.]
in·creasa·ble adj. in·creaser n. in·creasing·ly adv.
Synonyms: increase, expand, enlarge, extend, augment, multiply1
These verbs mean to make or become greater or larger. Increase sometimes suggests steady growth: The mayors political influence rapidly increased. No machines will increase the possibilities of life. They only increase the possibilities of idleness (John Ruskin).
To expand is to increase in size, area, volume, bulk, or range: He inhaled deeply, expanding his chest. Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion (C. Northcote Parkinson).
Enlarge refers to expansion in size, extent, capacity, or scope: The landowner enlarged her property by repeated purchases. My knowledge of literature has enlarged considerably since I joined a reading group.
To extend is to lengthen in space or time or to broaden in range: The transit authority extended the subway line to the next town. The baseball season extends into October.
Augment usually applies to what is already developed or well under way: She augmented her collection of books each month. His depression augments with each visit to the hospital.
To multiply is to increase in number, especially by propagation or procreation: As for my cats, they multiplied (Daniel Defoe). May thy days be multiplied! (Sir Walter Scott).