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

Wyeth repeated two more times, with guests repeating in increasing intensity. Alexandra Macon, Vogue, "Inside a Greenery-Filled Hawaiian Wedding—Where the Bridesmaids Wore Power Suits," 13 July 2018 Shrinking land and increasing values are spawning new approaches to warehouse development. Fortune, "This Is London's Hottest Property — Thanks to Amazon," 13 July 2018 The amount of trash collected has grown in the past three months as the city discontinued the trash stickers, increasing tipping fees by about $18,000 to $20,000. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Aberdeen council adopts new trash pickup ordinance," 12 July 2018 That would allow the new owners to face less anti-trust scrutiny and target networks in regions key to their business while most likely increasing the all-together haul Disney or Comcast can receive from the sale. Jacob Feldman,, "Five Potential Buyers for Fox's 22 Regional Sports Networks," 12 July 2018 The UMass system also plans to increase the cost of fees and room and board at its campuses. Deirdre Fernandes,, "Tuition at UMass system to increase by 2.5 percent," 14 July 2018 On Friday, the judge also ruled on a number of requests by the ACLU to increase oversight of the reunification process. Kristina Davis,, "Trump administration outlines plan to reunify remaining 2,500 separated children," 14 July 2018 An upper level disturbance, though weak, is expected to increase storm coverage across the entire area late Saturday and Saturday night, with some locally heavy downpours possible. Tom Skilling,, "Rise in humidity ups chance of thunderstorms," 13 July 2018 The iCan Bike camp is part of the county executive’s initiative to increase recreational opportunities for citizens with disabilities. The Aegis, "Harford concludes another successful iCan Bike Camp," 13 July 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The four-phase road expansion, paid for by CalAtlantic Homes (a Black Mountain Ranch developer), is part of an agreement with the City of San Diego due to the increase of traffic generated by the development of the Del Sur neighborhood. Elizabeth Marie Himchak, Rancho Bernardo, "Road improvements coming to Rancho Bernardo Road," 11 July 2018 Astros president of business operations Reid Ryan said, after 2030, the money accumulated from the increase will funnel into the ARR fund for use on ballpark improvements. Chandler Rome, Houston Chronicle, "Astros have plans for future improvements to Minute Maid Park," 10 July 2018 After the latest increase, the price of the Tesla Model S would climb to as much as 1.47 million yuan. Bloomberg, Fortune, "Trump's Trade War Has Its First Victims in the U.S. and China. Here's Who They Are," 9 July 2018 That's about $11,000 less than what Gov. Doug Ducey projects the average Arizona teacher salary ($52,725) will be this academic year, following significant funding increases to public schools across the state. Craig Harris, azcentral, "East Valley charter, subject of Republic investigation, reverses itself after blocking public comment," 14 July 2018 Once ratified, the agreement will provide annual wage increases and restore a vacation week that had previously been given up, among other provisions. Jennifer Smith, WSJ, "UPS, Teamsters Reach Tentative Deal on Trucking Labor Contract," 13 July 2018 Public workers want to regain cost-of-living increases. Joseph N. Distefano,, "Pension billions: Can N.J. cops pick better investments than Wall Street pros?," 13 July 2018 Mixed doubles players have been left behind as singles and doubles players have successfully lobbied for steep increases in prize money. Ben Rothenberg, New York Times, "To Know Mixed Doubles’ Place in Tennis, Look at the Prize Money," 13 July 2018 This irritation risk increases as the tea tree oil concentration rises. Ashley Weatherford, The Cut, "A Guide to Megan Markle’s Favorite Anti-Acne Oil," 13 July 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

18 Oct 2018

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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