in·​crease | \ in-ˈkrēs How to pronounce increase (audio) , ˈin-ˌkrēs How to pronounce increase (audio) \
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 How to pronounce increase (audio) , in-ˈkrēs How to pronounce increase (audio) \

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

Other Words from increase


increasable \ in-​ˈkrē-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce increase (audio) , 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

Verb The house increased in value. She increased her wealth substantially. Noun 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 See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The literacy grants range from $500 to $1,000 and will help augment or expand literacy projects that were judged to be creative, engaging, and would increase student achievement. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 May 2022 But creating a multiday playoff system to generate some rivalry and increase competition among the players could still provide the necessary entertainment to make the culminating Pro Bowl a worthy media event. William Power, WSJ, 15 May 2022 One thing which could help firefighters increase containment is the wind forecast, projected to remain relatively light across the region during the next 24 hours. Allison Chinchar, CNN, 15 May 2022 It should be noted that there is a contingent of the Disneyland fanbase that believes line-skipping programs increase standby wait times. Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2022 The large paydays line up with how stocks’ values increase over time, Alex Edmans, a finance professor at the London Business School, told STAT in an email. Bob Herman, STAT, 14 May 2022 At that time, state Department of Transformation and Shared Services spokeswoman Alex Johnston said the 2% raises would increase the average salary for these employees from about $46,588 a year to about $47,519 a year. Michael R. Wickline, Arkansas Online, 14 May 2022 After that first goal, Portland was able to soak up pressure 5-on-5, and then increase the margin on the power play. Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, 14 May 2022 The price of gasoline in the U.S. edged up and hit a new all-time high, as falling capacity at refineries increase the costs of filling up. Irina Ivanova, CBS News, 13 May 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Arkansas posted its second-highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases in more than a month on Friday. Andy Davis, Arkansas Online, 13 May 2022 Last week, the Fed raised its benchmark short-term rate by a half-point, its steepest increase in two decades. Christopher Rugaber, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 Last week, the central bank raised its benchmark short-term rate by a half-point, its steepest increase in two decades. Christopher Rugaber, ajc, 11 May 2022 Officials lifted borrowing costs half a percentage point this month, their biggest increase since 2000, while broadcasting that two more large adjustments could be coming. New York Times, 10 May 2022 Inflation is at a 40-year high, and the Federal Reserve has embarked on an aggressive monetary tightening cycle, enacting this month its biggest rate increase since 2000. Gunjan Banerji, WSJ, 10 May 2022 The entry-level Air Pure sees its price increase by $10,150 to $89,050, while stepping up to the Air Touring will cost you $109,050, up $12,550 from its original price. Caleb Miller, Car and Driver, 6 May 2022 On Wednesday, the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark rate, its largest increase since 2000. Washington Post, 5 May 2022 Lyft, which only operates in those two countries, pegged its first-quarter increase at 40%. Jacob Carpenter, Fortune, 4 May 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for increase

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

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Last Updated

17 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Increase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for increase


in·​crease | \ in-ˈkrēs How to pronounce increase (audio) \
increased; increasing

Kids Definition of increase

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: to make or become greater Skill increases with practice.


in·​crease | \ ˈin-ˌkrēs How to pronounce increase (audio) \

Kids Definition of increase (Entry 2 of 2)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on increase

Nglish: Translation of increase for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of increase for Arabic Speakers


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