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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.
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verb (used without object), in·ten·si·fied, in·ten·si·fy·ing.
  1. to become intense or more intense.
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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)


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Synonym study

1, 2. See aggravate.


Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for intensify


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)
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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 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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper