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verb (used with object), in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing.
  1. to make intense or more intense.
  2. to make more acute; strengthen or sharpen.
  3. Photography. to increase the density and contrast of (a negative) chemically.
verb (used without object), in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing.
  1. 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

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Synonym study

1, 2. See aggravate.

Antonyms for intensify Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for intensifies

Contemporary Examples of intensifies

Historical Examples of intensifies

  • 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


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

    Pony Tracks

    Frederic Remington

British Dictionary definitions for intensifies


verb -fies, -fying or -fied
  1. to make or become intense or more intense
  2. (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 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