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Alternative formsEdit


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

The verb is from Middle English incresen, encresen.


  • (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.
    • Bible, Genesis vii. 17
      The waters increased and bare up the ark.
    • Shakespeare
      The heavens forbid / But that our loves and comforts should increase, / Even as our days do grow!
  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.
    • Sir M. Hale
      Fishes are more numerous of increasing than beasts or birds, as appears by their numerous spawn.
  4. (astronomy, intransitive) To become more nearly full; to show more of the surface; to wax.
    The Moon increases.



Derived termsEdit



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. (knitting) The creation of one or more new stitches; see Increase (knitting).




Further readingEdit