in·cre·men·tal | \ ˌiŋ-krə-ˈmen-tᵊl , ˌin- \

Definition of incremental 

: of, relating to, being, or occurring in especially small increments incremental additions incremental change

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Other words from incremental

incrementally \ˌiŋ-krə-ˈmen-tᵊl-ē, ˌin- \ adverb

Synonyms & Antonyms for incremental


gradational, gradual, phased, piecemeal, step-by-step


abrupt, sudden

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Examples of incremental in a Sentence

the incremental evolution of the collection from a specialized gallery into a comprehensive art museum the incremental total for my collection of baseball cards

Recent Examples on the Web

Most develop through the slow, incremental work in a field — each step building on a foundation already laid. Helen Branswell, STAT, "Research charity launches $330M initiative to fund high-risk life sciences projects," 9 July 2018 For now, the process is measured by incremental and compartmental progress and regression. Kevin Acee,, "Analysis: Assessing progress in Padres' process is difficult at this point," 10 May 2018 The nuclear-weapon states pay lip service to the incremental nuclear disarmament the treaty asks of them while at the same time modernising their forces to face the next 50 years; this makes the nuke-nots ever angrier. The Economist, "Old deals to limit nuclear weapons are fraying. They may not be repaired," 5 May 2018 In the close future, Harley-Davidson estimates the incremental cost for the remainder of 2018 to be approximately $30 to $45 million. Carson Kessler, Fortune, "Why Harley-Davidson Is Moving Production Overseas," 26 June 2018 In some sports, certain activities open the door for an uncomfortable intimacy among adults and teens — long car rides, private dinners, late-night tutorials, events that set the stage for incremental transgressions but that could also be innocuous. Ivy Pochoda,, "Exploring the complex relationships with teen athletes and coaches with Piper Weiss and Ivy Pochoda," 18 May 2018 Having said that, every incremental dollar is beneficial for governmental programs. Kathleen Gray, Detroit Free Press, "What Michigan needs to learn from Colorado's legalized marijuana," 12 July 2018 Having him off the bench will also prevent incremental steps against capital punishment from going forward. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "America under Brett Kavanaugh," 11 July 2018 Growth in sales at retailers and to commercial customers such as restaurants and food manufacturers was led by incremental sales in McCormick’s Frank’s hot sauce and French’s mustard portfolio, which added 13 percent to the increase. Lorraine Mirabella,, "McCormick & Co. reports double-digit boost in second quarter sales and profits," 28 June 2018

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

1696, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

16 Sep 2018

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The first known use of incremental was in 1696

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to make amends

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