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[in-ten-suh-fahy] /ɪnˈtɛn səˌfaɪ/
verb (used with object), intensified, intensifying.
to make intense or more intense.
to make more acute; strengthen or sharpen.
Photography. to increase the density and contrast of (a negative) chemically.
verb (used without object), intensified, intensifying.
to become intense or more intense.
Origin of intensify
First recorded in 1810-20; intense + -ify
Related forms
intensification, noun
de-intensify, verb, de-intensified, de-intensifying.
overintensification, noun
overintensify, verb, overintensified, overintensifying.
self-intensified, adjective
self-intensifying, adjective
unintensified, adjective
Can be confused
aggravate, intensify, worsen (see synonym study at aggravate)
1, 2. deepen, quicken, concentrate.
1. alleviate, weaken.
Synonym Study
1, 2. See aggravate. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for intensifies
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Benedick, reporting to the same tune, intensifies his misery.

    William Shakespeare John Masefield
  • It only intensifies the pain and doesnt work much of a cure.

    The Making of Bobby Burnit George Randolph Chester
  • To place white by the side of a color heightens or intensifies the tone of that color.

    Color Value C. R. Clifford
  • Not that the Divine Spirit supersedes their human faculties, but He intensifies them.

    Lux Mundi Various
  • There are snow fields to cross, which intensifies the action.

    Pony Tracks Frederic Remington
British Dictionary definitions for intensifies


verb -fies, -fying, -fied
to make or become intense or more intense
(transitive) to increase the density of (a photographic film or plate)
Derived Forms
intensification, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for intensifies



1817, from intense + -ify, first attested in Coleridge, in place of intend, which he said no longer was felt as connected with intense. Middle English used intensen (v.) "to increase (something), strengthen, intensify," early 15c. Related: Intensified; intensifying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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