[ verb in-krees; noun in-krees ]
See synonyms for: increaseincreasedincreasesincreasing on

verb (used with object),in·creased, in·creas·ing.
  1. to make greater, as in number, size, strength, or quality; augment; add to: to increase taxes.

verb (used without object),in·creased, in·creas·ing.
  1. to become greater, as in number, size, strength, or quality: Sales of automobiles increased last year.

  2. to multiply by propagation.

  1. to wax, as the moon.

  1. growth or augmentation in numbers, size, strength, quality, etc.: the increase of crime.

  2. the act or process of increasing.

  1. that by which something is increased.

  2. the result of increasing.

  3. produce of the earth.

  4. product; profit; interest.

  5. Obsolete.

    • multiplication by propagation; production of offspring.

    • offspring; progeny.

Origin of increase

First recorded in 1370–1395; Middle English incresen, encresen, from Anglo-French encres-, Middle French encreis(s)-, stem of encreistre, from Latin incrēscere, equivalent to in- in-2 + crēscere “to grow”; see crescent

Other words for increase

Opposites for increase

Other words from increase

  • in·creas·a·ble, adjective
  • in·creas·ed·ly [in-kree-sid-lee], /ɪnˈkri sɪd li/, adverb
  • non·in·creas·a·ble, adjective
  • non·in·crease, noun
  • pre·in·crease, noun
  • pre·in·crease, verb (used with object), pre·in·creased, pre·in·creas·ing.
  • pro·in·crease, adjective
  • qua·si-in·creased, adjective
  • re·in·crease, verb, re·in·creased, re·in·creas·ing, noun
  • su·per·in·crease, verb (used with object), su·per·in·creased, su·per·in·creas·ing.
  • su·per·in·crease, noun
  • un·in·creas·a·ble, adjective
  • un·in·creased, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use increase in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for increase


  1. to make or become greater in size, degree, frequency, etc; grow or expand

  1. the act of increasing; augmentation

  2. the amount by which something increases

  1. on the increase increasing, esp becoming more frequent

Origin of increase

C14: from Old French encreistre, from Latin incrēscere, from in- ² + crēscere to grow

Derived forms of increase

  • increasable, adjective
  • increasedly (ɪnˈkriːsɪdlɪ) or increasingly, adverb
  • increaser, 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