in·​crease | \ in-ˈkrēs , ˈin-ˌkrēs \
increased; increasing

Definition of increase

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to become progressively greater (as in size, amount, number, or intensity)
2 : to multiply by the production of young

transitive verb

1 : to make greater : augment
2 obsolete : enrich


in·​crease | \ ˈin-ˌkrēs , in-ˈkrēs \

Definition of increase (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the act or process of increasing: such as
a : addition or enlargement in size, extent, or quantity
b obsolete : propagation
2 : something that is added to an original stock or amount by augmentation or growth (such as offspring, produce, profit)
on the increase
: becoming greater (as in size, number, or amount) : increasing crime is on the increase

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Other Words from increase


increasable \ in-​ˈkrē-​sə-​bəl , ˈin-​ˌkrē-​ \ adjective
increaser noun

Choose the Right Synonym for increase


increase, enlarge, augment, multiply mean to make or become greater. increase used intransitively implies progressive growth in size, amount, or intensity his waistline increased with age ; used transitively it may imply simple not necessarily progressive addition. increased her landholdings enlarge implies expansion or extension that makes greater in size or capacity. enlarged the kitchen augment implies addition to what is already well grown or well developed. the inheritance augmented his fortune multiply implies increase in number by natural generation or by indefinite repetition of a process. with each attempt the problems multiplied

Examples of increase in a Sentence


The house increased in value. She increased her wealth substantially.


an increase in life expectancy The employees expect some increase in wages. The construction will probably cause some increase in traffic delays. The report showed increases of between 20 and 30 percent. an increase of three dollars
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

That also contributed to weakness in Office 365 consumer subscriptions, which increased from 29.2 million a year ago to 33.3 million. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft's Surface sales soar to nearly $2 billion, though chip shortages are hurting," 31 Jan. 2019 McCollum’s seven 3-pointers increased his career total to 756, passing Nicolas Batum (751) for fourth on the franchise’s all-time list. Murray Evans, The Seattle Times, "George nets 36, Westbrook 29 as Thunder tops Blazers 123-114," 22 Jan. 2019 The chains' financial woes have dragged on over the past years as the traditional brick-and-mortar stores unsuccessfully tried to adapt to increasing online competition. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Sears and Kmart Stores May Liquidate After Latest Bankruptcy News," 8 Jan. 2019 Regina King is promising to do her part to increase inclusion in Hollywood. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Regina King Vows to Make Future Projects 50% Women During Golden Globes Acceptance Speech," 7 Jan. 2019 And though their number will increase to 53 in the new year, that’s still well short of 60. Andrew Prokop, Vox, "The nuclear option, explained.," 21 Dec. 2018 According to Uber, its third-quarter revenue — which includes revenue from Uber Eats, its international business and payments from business accounts — increased a much higher 38 percent year over year to $2.95 billion. Rani Molla, Recode, "Lyft has eaten into Uber’s U.S. market share, new data suggests," 12 Dec. 2018 Elastic that encircles the sheet provides a more snug fit, reduces surface bagginess and increases the comfort factor. Hannah Morrill, ELLE Decor, "The Best Luxury Sheets For the Perfect Night's Sleep," 15 Nov. 2018 Students from the College of William and Mary also increased their turnout rate to 62%, up from 37% at the last midterm election. Rebecca Dancer, Teen Vogue, "Midterm Elections Voter Participation Seriously Increased at These Colleges Across the Country," 7 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Neither the fiscal stimulus nor the oil price increase is likely to be repeated. Greg Ip, WSJ, "The Global Boom, Barely Begun, May Be Over," 23 Jan. 2019 As the options increase, how to separate the quality stuff from what’s really just snake oil? Laura Neilson, Vogue, "All the Best CBD Products Are Now Gathered in One Place," 23 Jan. 2019 And lastly, the company has strongly suggested that a price increase is on the way and some channels might be getting cut in an effort to help DirecTV Now reach profitability. Chris Welch, The Verge, "The Verge Cord Cutter’s Guide: hardware, software, and services," 20 Dec. 2018 The increase is in part responsible for another drop in life expectancy this year. Julissa Treviño, Vox, "Suicides are at the highest rate in decades, CDC report shows," 30 Nov. 2018 Those late 2018 declines were sparked by uncertainty over the path of Federal Reserve rate increases, worries around the U.S.-China trade dispute and fears the U.S. economy could slip into recession in coming months. Telis Demos, WSJ, "Bank Investors Look Beyond Trading Revenue to Deliver Strong Gains," 20 Jan. 2019 The number of increases had slowed somewhat and were not quite as steep as in past years. Hope Yen, The Seattle Times, "AP fact check: Trump isn’t holed up nonstop at White House," 14 Jan. 2019 King's promise will hopefully contribute to an even higher increase in that number over the next few years. Julie Kosin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Regina King Vows to Make Future Projects 50% Women During Golden Globes Acceptance Speech," 7 Jan. 2019 Second, there is consistent evidence of housing price increases, implying that benefits are received by unintended recipients. Matthew Yglesias, Vox, "Paul Ryan’s farewell address contained a blaze of nonsense about poverty," 20 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'increase.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of increase


14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 1


14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for increase


Middle English encresen, from Anglo-French encreistre, from Latin increscere, from in- + crescere to grow — more at crescent

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Statistics for increase

Last Updated

8 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for increase

The first known use of increase was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for increase



English Language Learners Definition of increase

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to become larger or greater in size, amount, number, etc.
: to make (something) larger or greater in size, amount, number, etc.



English Language Learners Definition of increase (Entry 2 of 2)

: the act of becoming larger or of making something larger or greater in size, amount, number, etc.
: the amount by which something is made larger or greater


in·​crease | \ in-ˈkrēs \
increased; increasing

Kids Definition of increase

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or become greater Skill increases with practice.


in·​crease | \ ˈin-ˌkrēs \

Kids Definition of increase (Entry 2 of 2)

: an addition or enlargement in size, extent, or quantity He received a pay increase.

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More from Merriam-Webster on increase

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for increase

Spanish Central: Translation of increase

Nglish: Translation of increase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of increase for Arabic Speakers

Comments on increase

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