in·​cre·​ment | \ˈiŋ-krə-mənt, ˈin-\

Definition of increment 

1 : the action or process of increasing especially in quantity or value : enlargement

2a : something gained or added

b : one of a series of regular consecutive additions

c : a minute increase in quantity

3 : the amount or degree by which something changes especially : the amount of positive or negative change in the value of one or more of a set of variables

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Did You Know?

Increment is used in many technical fields, but also nontechnically. Incremental increases in drug dosages are used for experimental purposes. Incremental tax increases are easier to swallow than sudden large increases. Incremental changes of any kind may be hard to notice, but can be very significant in the long run. Rome wasn't built in a day, but was instead built up by increments from a couple of villages in the 10th century B.C. to the capital of the Mediterranean world in the 1st century A.D.

Examples of increment in a Sentence

They increased the dosage of the drug in small increments over a period of several weeks. Fines increase in increments of $10. The volume is adjustable in 10 equal increments.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The perimeter of each ear cup is a rotating dial, with the right one handling volume (in increments of 7 percent on Windows) and the left one stepping through the 13 different levels of NC. Vlad Savov, The Verge, "Microsoft Surface Headphones review: all the style without the polish," 15 Nov. 2018 Preferred Shoppers who spent $250 (in increments of at least $50 each purchase) from October through November could redeem their points for a free bird. Amina Lake Abdelrahman, Good Housekeeping, "5 Ways to Score a Free Turkey for Thanksgiving This Year," 30 Oct. 2018 Since the moving models had to be photographed 24 times in 24 different positions to produce a single second of action, the ability to shift them in tiny, highly precise increments between individual frames was critical. Popular Mechanics, "The Original Stop-Motion Imperial Walkers Were a Triumph of Craftsmanship," 13 Mar. 2017 In the event of erroneous AOA data, the pitch trim system can trim the stabilizer nose down in increments lasting up to 10 seconds. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Indonesia 737 crash caused by “safety” feature change pilots weren’t told of," 13 Nov. 2018 Yes, the full subsidy promised comes in increments, as the capital investments are made and jobs created by Foxconn. Bruce Murphy, The Verge, "Wisconsin’s $4.1 billion Foxconn boondoggle," 29 Oct. 2018 The company controls spaces long-term and sells them in short increments. Andy Kessler, WSJ, "The Company Implosion Pageant," 23 Sep. 2018 With the exception of the season premiere, this show tells its story in day-to-night increments. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sharp Objects Episode 5: Adora Is Officially the Worst Mother Ever," 6 Aug. 2018 Highland officials plan to tap into the Downtown Allocation Area Fund tax increment for the first time to make repairs to the downtown intersection pavers. Carrie Napoleon, Post-Tribune, "Highland expected to tap funds for downtown street repairs," 12 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'increment.' 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 increment

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for increment

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Latin incrementum, from increscere to increase

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Statistics for increment

Last Updated

8 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for increment

The first known use of increment was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for increment



English Language Learners Definition of increment

: a usually small amount or degree by which something is made larger or greater


in·​cre·​ment | \ˈiŋ-krə-mənt, ˈin- \

Medical Definition of increment 

1a : something gained or added the most common form of leukocytosis is that in which the increment is in the neutrophilic leukocytes— W. A. D. Anderson

b : one of a series of regular consecutive additions (as of growth or spread of disease)

2 : the amount or degree by which something changes especially : the amount of positive or negative change in the value of one or more of a set of variables

Other Words from increment

incremental \ˌiŋ-​krə-​ˈment-​ᵊl, ˌin-​ \ adjective
incrementally \-​ᵊl-​ē \ adverb

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