Try Our Apps


90s Slang You Should Know


[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. 2017.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for intensify
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • At home the profound silence and seeming emptiness of the house served but to intensify her craving for companionship.

    Fan W.H. Hudson (AKA Henry Harford)
  • The beast has been wounded, but this shall only serve to intensify its rage.

  • For lack of employment, the want of food and shelter, intensify the misery and lead to attacks on property.

  • The sounds of bird life seemed only to intensify the effect of solitude.

    In Africa John T. McCutcheon
  • Priscilla's engagement, instead of interrupting her intimacy with her chums on Friendly Terrace, seemed to intensify it.

    Peggy Raymond's Way Harriet Lummis Smith
British Dictionary definitions for intensify


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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for intensify

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
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for intensify

Some English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for intensify

Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for intensify