verb (used with object), in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing.

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), in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing.

to become intense or more intense.

Origin of intensify

First recorded in 1810–20; intense + -ify
Related formsin·ten·si·fi·ca·tion, nounde-in·ten·si·fy, verb, de·-in·ten·si·fied, de·-in·ten·si·fy·ing.o·ver·in·ten·si·fi·ca·tion, nouno·ver·in·ten·si·fy, verb, o·ver·in·ten·si·fied, o·ver·in·ten·si·fy·ing.self-in·ten·si·fied, adjectiveself-in·ten·si·fy·ing, adjectiveun·in·ten·si·fied, adjective
Can be confusedaggravate intensify worsen (see synonym study at aggravate)

Synonyms for intensify

Synonym study

1, 2. See aggravate.

Antonyms for intensify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for intensification

Contemporary Examples of intensification

  • But the second thing is the way this city has changed in recent years, the intensification of the separation.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Mass Murder in the Holy City

    Michael Tomasky

    November 18, 2014

Historical Examples of intensification

  • An intensification of the vague footsteps I had thought I heard before.

  • The blue may carry a factor which brings about intensification of the brown pigment.


    Reginald Crundall Punnett

  • All history teaches by example, and the Scriptural narrative is the intensification of history.


    J. B. Lightfoot

  • It seemed to me an intensification of the snob instinct in the soul of man.

    Now It Can Be Told

    Philip Gibbs

  • The second year is but an intensification of the process apparent in the first.

    The French Revolution

    Hilaire Belloc

British Dictionary definitions for intensification


verb -fies, -fying or -fied

to make or become intense or more intense
(tr) to increase the density of (a photographic film or plate)
Derived Formsintensification, 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

Word Origin and History for intensification

1847, noun of action from 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