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

His minutes and points improved each season, but the progress was incremental. Chapel Fowler, charlotteobserver, "How Ex-Shelby High and Clemson star Gabe DeVoe got NBA summer-league shot with Hornets," 5 July 2018 Progress is incremental The decision last week creates an emissions cap that many countries had hoped would be more stringent. Jessica F. Green, Washington Post, "Why do we need new rules on shipping emissions? Well, 90 percent of global trade depends on ships.," 17 Apr. 2018 Overall, the bigger question Olson had was if such a project can be done in a tax incremental financing (TIF) district that is served by a fire station that is already overworked. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Franklin mayor blasts addition of senior housing to Ballpark Commons: 'It's the wrong facility in the wrong part of town'," 22 June 2018 But what next-generation techniques actually do is more muddled and incremental than marketers would want to admit. Lily Hay Newman, WIRED, "AI Can Help Cybersecurity—If It Can Fight Through the Hype," 29 Apr. 2018 Dungan, like many others, believes that thinking globally can increase a country artist's longevity, even if the growth is incremental. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Here's How Country Music Can Grow Overseas: Touring (a Lot) & Leaving the 'Pickup Truck' Song in the States," 1 Mar. 2018 This incremental approach will not necessarily leave Toyota in the dust. The Economist, "Toyota takes a winding road to autonomous vehicles," 19 May 2018 His broad, incremental approach can feel unsatisfying to more confrontational Democrats. New York Times, "Trying for House Gains, Democrats Bless Moderates and Annoy Liberals," 13 May 2018 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

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

28 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for incremental

The first known use of incremental was in 1696

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Comments on incremental

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


an inexhaustible supply or amount

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