Definition of intensive in English:

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Pronunciation: /inˈtensiv/


1Concentrated on a single area or subject or into a short time; very thorough or vigorous: she undertook an intensive Arabic course eight days of intensive arms talks
More example sentences
  • But many of these ingredients haven't been subjected to intensive research that proves this benefit.
  • A passenger whose baggage triggers an alarm might in turn be subject to intensive search procedures - and those are no laughing matter.
  • Security inside and outside the court was heavy with everyone entering the building scanned and subject to intensive searches.
thorough, thoroughgoing, in-depth, rigorous, exhaustive;
all-inclusive, comprehensive, all-embracing, all-encompassing, complete, full;
vigorous, strenuous;
concentrated, condensed, accelerated;
detailed, minute, close, meticulous, scrupulous, painstaking, methodical, careful
1.1(Of agriculture) aiming to achieve the highest possible level of production within a limited area, especially by using chemical and technological aids: intensive farming Often contrasted with extensive (sense 2).
More example sentences
  • Nor is a return to ‘primitive’ farming practices the only alternative to factory farming and highly intensive agriculture.
  • Like intensive power production, so intensive agriculture spares the landscape.
  • The location of participation across the state, as expected, closely follows the areas of intensive commercial agricultural production.
1.2 [usually in combination] (Typically in business and economics) concentrating on or making much use of a specified thing: computer-intensive methods
More example sentences
  • They are considering relocating to Shanghai because high labour costs in this labour intensive business have eaten into their profits in Taiwan.
  • As a capital intensive business, the group has considered its options regarding flotation but intends to remain private for the foreseeable future.
  • It is a labour intensive business, but Lisa says as they are getting more established and organized the workload seems to be lessening.
2 Grammar (Of an adjective, adverb, or particle) expressing intensity; giving force or emphasis.
Example sentences
  • Fernando Pereira emailed an anecdote about intensive use of eh.
3Denoting a property that is measured in terms of intensity (e.g., concentration) rather than of extent (e.g., volume), and so is not simply increased by addition of one thing to another.
Example sentences
  • Clearly, the intercept differences produced by the intensive properties were substantially smaller than those produced by spatial properties.
  • It is an intensive physical property of a particular material and does not depend on the amount of material present.
  • The first one is the vestibule of the channel, where the curvature of the dielectric boundary generates intensive electrostatic forces.


An intensive adjective, adverb, or particle; an intensifier.
Example sentences
  • Particles are added, usually as completives and intensives, to two and three-syllable verbs of Latin origin: contract out, divide off/up, level off, measure off/out, select out, separate off/out.
  • That is from the words of the intensives used when they talk about ‘very likely’, ‘you see it all the time’, et cetera.


On the difference between intensive and intense, see intense (usage).



Example sentences
  • The development of the sugar industry was directly linked with the African slave trade, due to the harsh physical demands and labour intensiveness of farming sugar.
  • The meat ends up looking like it has been left out in the snow because of the intensiveness of the white fat marbling.
  • The labor intensiveness of these teams' undertakings virtually mandated collaboration, and often prompted recourse to numerous hands.


Late Middle English (in the sense 'vehement, intense'): from French intensif, -ive or medieval Latin intensivus, from intendere (see intend).

Words that rhyme with intensive

apprehensive, coextensive, comprehensive, defensive, expensive, extensive, offensive, ostensive, pensive, suspensive

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: in·ten·sive

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