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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from increase


increasable \ in-​ˈkrē-​sə-​bəl How to pronounce increasable (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


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
See More

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

Benioff has helped Salesforce increase revenue at a rapid clip by acquiring more than 60 companies in 20 years. Bloomberg,, "Salesforce to buy Tableau for $15.3 billion, making push into big data," 10 June 2019 The shift toward women broadcasters comes at a time when soccer officials are facing increasing pressure to pay female players more. Elliott Almond, The Mercury News, "Which Santa Clara soccer stars are calling the World Cup? Clue: They’re not men," 9 June 2019 The Cleveland schools have been increasing social-emotional teaching since a 2007 school shooting by a student. Patrick O'donnell,, "Social-Emotional learning draws questions for state school board," 8 June 2019 So, does Nike have a strategy to help increase those numbers in other countries?, "Women's World Cup: An Inside Look Into This Summer's Tournament & the Global Game With Nike," 8 June 2019 The basics Rental rates for houseboats can be as low as $900 for two nights, and increase depending on boat size and amenities. Jill K. Robinson,, "Renting a houseboat on Shasta Lake? Read this first.," 7 June 2019 Suspicion fell on her husband - Trooper George Martin - who had been experiencing financial problems and who progressively had been increasing his wife's life insurance policy. Carol Robinson |,, "Former Alabama state trooper convicted - again - in the brutal 1995 killing of his wife," 7 June 2019 Another winning strategy for the network has been increasing its efforts to sign contracts with hotels, which were up 6 percent to 64,000 last year. Gavin J. Blair, The Hollywood Reporter, "Japan's Wowow Defies Streamers With 13th Year of Subscriber Growth," 7 June 2019 The proposal would give legislative leaders a chance to increase fees to pay for highways without facing opposition from rank-and-file legislators. Patrick Marley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "GOP transportation plan would allow handful of legislators to impose vehicle fees of any amount," 7 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Jumps in closings on properties in Waukesha and Washington counties led to the increase, according to a report by the Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors. Paul Gores, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "May home sales inched up in metro Milwaukee, but prices jumped," 11 June 2019 But a push by Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin and Lamborghini to boost sales has led to a significant increase in ultra-luxury vehicles around the world. Nathan Bomey, USA TODAY, "Rolls-Royce, Aston Martin, Lamborghini car prices plunge as ultra-luxury market expands," 10 June 2019 Record years of successive export growth and an applicant’s demonstration of an innovative international marketing plan that led to the increase in exports is a significant factor in selecting the overall winners. Laura Kroeger/share,, "Cincinnati manufacturer wins U.S. Exporter of the Year Award," 7 June 2019 The state Legislature’s research arm, the Office of Program Policy Analysis and Government Accountability, points to residency restrictions as the biggest factor leading to an increase in offender homelessness. Brittany Wallman,, "Fort Lauderdale opening more neighborhoods to sex offenders with change in strict law," 7 June 2019 The report, however, did not acknowledge that a growing body of research has shown tying teacher pay to student test scores alone has not led to increases in achievement. Mandy Mclaren, The Courier-Journal, "Should Kentucky teachers be paid more for delivering high scores? Wayne Lewis thinks so.," 5 June 2019 The most common gas price in the country this week was $2.79 per gallon due to increases in the Midwest where prices have been affected by flooding. Justin L. Mack, Indianapolis Star, "Gas prices and tariffs: Why gas dropping under $2 a gallon might cost you," 5 June 2019 Both scenarios are contributing to a big increase in the number of people in the US working into their 70s. Michelle Cheng, Quartz at Work, "The number of Americans working in their 70s is skyrocketing," 3 June 2019 Researchers have linked President Donald Trump's tweets casting Muslims in a negative light to an increase in hate crimes against Muslims. Nadra Widatalla, Teen Vogue, "Why Ramadan Is Important to Me in an Islamophobic America," 7 May 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about increase

Statistics for increase

Last Updated

14 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for increase

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 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.

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up increase? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


having a desire to acquire more things

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words for Summer: A Quiz

  • a closeup of a sunflower
  • Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!