in·​ten·​sive | \ in-ˈten(t)-siv How to pronounce intensive (audio) \

Definition of intensive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of, relating to, or marked by intensity or intensification: such as
a : highly concentrated intensive study
b : tending to strengthen or increase especially : tending to give force or emphasis intensive adverb
c : constituting or relating to a method designed to increase productivity by the expenditure of more capital and labor rather than by increase in scope intensive farming



Definition of intensive (Entry 2 of 2)

: an intensive linguistic element

Other Words from intensive


intensively adverb
intensiveness noun

intensive purposes or intents and purposes?

If you are casting about for the phrase that is used to say that “one thing has the same effect or result as something else,” you are looking for for all intents and purposes; you are not looking for intensive purposes. Your purposes may indeed be intensive in some way (we don’t want to know the details), but these two words are not commonly found together as an idiom. The pairing of intents and purposes comes from a 1546 Act of Parliament conveying that King Henry VIII had unlimited power to interpret laws; it contained the phrase “to all intents, constructions, and purposes.”

Examples of intensive in a Sentence

Adjective an intensive course in business writing an intensive effort to prevent an adult bookstore from opening in town
Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Last week, IU Health reported that 328 COVID-19 patients are in intensive and progressive care units. Rachel Fradette, The Indianapolis Star, 10 Jan. 2022 Vertical integration can be capital-intensive and risky, and in the past, auto manufacturers have struggled to bring new competencies like software development in house, leading to delays and dented sales. Ben Foldy, WSJ, 3 Jan. 2022 Manual processes are people-intensive and not scalable. Aaron Vick, Forbes, 21 Dec. 2021 This means the recipes are layered, labor-intensive and sometimes multi-day affairs. Jeremy Repanich, Robb Report, 20 Dec. 2021 Owner Stan Yee previously told The Chronicle that the restaurant was labor intensive and hard to keep open amid the national staffing shortage in the restaurant industry. Tanay Warerkar, San Francisco Chronicle, 17 Dec. 2021 The county Board of Supervisors on Tuesday voted unanimously to explore expanding a special, intensive and in-demand criminal court program that aims to get mentally ill offenders out of jail and into housing and treatment. Teri Figueroa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 7 Dec. 2021 The report noted that solid waste management is highly labour intensive and expensive and that NGOs could play an important role in raising public awareness or organising collectives of rag-pickers to carry out doorstep garbage collection. Aarefa Johari, Quartz, 25 Nov. 2021 Those people tend to need more intensive and complicated care at hospitals that are already stretched thin because of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. NBC News, 13 Nov. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The ballet has the Otto M. Budig Academy, too, with a schedule of summer intensives. David Lyman,, 24 Mar. 2020 Lynx said many of the students who come for the monthslong intensives (another option) are divorced, or on their way to it. Nellie Bowles, New York Times, 5 Mar. 2020 The non-profit holds annual summer intensives in each country, during which notable songwriters and producers teach collaborative songwriting, music production and music business in an effort to foster local talent. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, 23 Aug. 2019 In addition to the U.S., Spotify has also held Sound Up intensives in Australia, Brazil, and the U.K. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, 7 June 2019 So Hong Kong has become a central hub for short-term theological intensives, distance Bible seminaries and networking conventions. Time, 5 Mar. 2018 Some students compete nearly every weekend during the season, which runs approximately September to July, and train at intensives and classes during the rest of the year. Lizzie Feidelson, New York Times, 21 Dec. 2017 Edwards is a graduate of the Baltimore School for the Arts and attended various workshops and intensives including Alvin Ailey, Dance Theatre of Harlem, Joffrey, Kirov and the New York City Ballet. Valerie Bonk,, 23 Aug. 2017 A member of the company for 12 years, she has been accepted into countless dance intensives over the years and this summer will study with the Milwaukee Ballet, the Kansas City Ballet and the Ballet Austin summer programs. David Laurell, Burbank Leader, 20 June 2017

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


1604, in the meaning defined above


1813, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for intensive

Time Traveler

The first known use of intensive was in 1604

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Dictionary Entries Near intensive

intensity of radiation


intensive care

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Intensive.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for intensive



English Language Learners Definition of intensive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: involving very great effort or work
: giving force or emphasis to a statement
: designed to increase production without using more land



English Language Learners Definition of intensive (Entry 2 of 2)


in·​ten·​sive | \ in-ˈten-siv How to pronounce intensive (audio) \

Kids Definition of intensive

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : involving special effort or concentration intensive study
2 : giving emphasis The pronoun "myself" in "I myself did it" is intensive.



Kids Definition of intensive (Entry 2 of 2)

: a word that emphasizes or stresses something "Quite" is an intensive in "quite a musician."


in·​ten·​sive | \ in-ˈten(t)-siv How to pronounce intensive (audio) \

Medical Definition of intensive

: of, relating to, or marked by an extreme degree especially of dosage, duration, or frequency high-dose intensive chemotherapy intensive counseling for eating disorders

Other Words from intensive

intensively adverb
treat intensively

More from Merriam-Webster on intensive

Nglish: Translation of intensive for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of intensive for Arabic Speakers


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