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

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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
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Recent Examples on the Web: Verb The report estimates that this market could increase by $5.8 billion between 2020 and 2024. New York Times, "The Drawbacks of Living in a Tiny Home During a Pandemic," 12 Feb. 2021 According to our calculations, the public option would add $800 billion to deficits in the first 10 years and increase the federal debt by more than 30% of the gross domestic product by 2050 — the equivalent of $6 trillion in today’s economy. Lanhee J. Chen, STAT, "A public option for health insurance could be a disaster, especially in times of crisis," 12 Feb. 2021 The Staffords' education center will enable SAY Play to increase its student population by implementing new art, computer and academic programs throughout the building. Slone Terranella, Detroit Free Press, "Staffords pledge $1 million to build education center in Detroit for kids, teens, adults," 11 Feb. 2021 González, according to Mark Feinsand of, will get a one-year, $3 million deal with incentives that could increase the value of the deal by $1 million. Globe Staff,, "Red Sox reportedly reach agreement with Marwin González on one-year, $3 million contract," 11 Feb. 2021 Democrats argue the PRO Act will create safer workplaces and increase employee benefits by expanding union organizing. Bethany Blankley, Washington Examiner, "Democrat-sponsored PRO Act would invalidate right-to-work laws in 27 states," 8 Feb. 2021 In 1890, Congress passed the Silver Purchase Act, mandating that the government increase its monthly silver purchases by 50%. Jeremy Kahn, Fortune, "From WallStreetBets to William Jennings Bryan: Why America’s financial populists love a good silver rally," 6 Feb. 2021 As a result, prosecutors are also seeking to increase Rittenhouse’s bond by $200,000 (£150,000) for violating the conditions of his bond. Erin Corbett,, "Here’s Why Police Are Trying To Rearrest Kyle Rittenhouse," 4 Feb. 2021 Pfizer plans to increase its federal shipments by 40% later this month, DeWine said. Randy Ludlow, The Enquirer, "Gov. Mike DeWine says more COVID-19 vaccine doses coming in February and March," 4 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The White House is also reporting an increase in the administration of vaccines throughout the country after a slow start. Alexandra Jaffe,, "Biden reframes his goal on reopening of elementary schools," 17 Feb. 2021 An epidemic is a sudden increase of a disease above what is normally expected among the population in a certain area, according to the CDC. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, "Health officials say the coronavirus will likely become endemic in the next several years. What does that mean?," 17 Feb. 2021 This is an increase of 9 percentage points since Jan. 25, before Trump was impeached and acquitted on a charge of incitement of insurrection, and an 18 percentage point jump from Jan. 7, a day after pro-Trump supporters stormed Congress. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "Trump keeps tight-lipped on future plans as he returns to media spotlight with interview blitz," 17 Feb. 2021 In the first half of 2020, for example, the IEA determined that, based on its estimate of oil supply and demand, there was a global inventory increase of 1.39 billion barrels. Jinjoo Lee, WSJ, "Oil’s Missing-Barrel Mystery Stumps Forecasters," 16 Feb. 2021 Hospitalizations - Alert triggered when there is an increase in new COVID-19 patients for five straight days at any point over the last three weeks. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Ohio coronavirus alert map unchanged again this week: same 84 counties on red alert, 4 on orange," 11 Feb. 2021 And while numbers showing a more whole picture of the issue are difficult to come by, what is documented is a persistent increase in violence. Sarah Midkiff,, "Why Recent Violence Against Asian-Americans Has Been All Over Social Media," 10 Feb. 2021 This was a 28% increase in participation from last year’s event, organizers say. Anna Caplan, Dallas News, "Southlake rounds up 146 gallons of cooking oil and grease in holiday collection," 5 Feb. 2021 The electric-vehicle stake is an increase over the $10 billion already pledged to help Ford compete in the race to bring electric vehicles into the mainstream. Roberto Baldwin, Car and Driver, "Ford Makes $29 Billion Commitment to Electric and Self-Driving Cars," 5 Feb. 2021

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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Time Traveler for increase

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for increase

Last Updated

22 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Increase.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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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 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.

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Comments on increase

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