Definition of increase in English:

Share this entry



Pronunciation: /ɪnˈkriːs/
Become or make greater in size, amount, or degree: [no object]: car use is increasing at an alarming rate [with object]: we are aiming to increase awareness of social issues (as adjective increasing) the increasing numbers of students
More example sentences
  • They had the choice of increasing the size of the dairy herd or changing the system completely.
  • The operators are reducing the amount they pay out and increasing the amount they take in.
  • The core of the movement has been increasing in size and in depth of knowledge.
grow, get bigger, get larger, become greater, enlarge, expand, swell;
rise, climb, escalate, soar, surge, rocket, shoot up, spiral;
improve, intensify, strengthen;
heighten, lengthen, extend, stretch, spread, widen;
multiply, snowball, mushroom, proliferate, balloon, build up, mount up, pile up, accrue, accumulate
literary wax
add to, make larger, make bigger, make greater, augment, supplement, top up, build up, enlarge, expand, extend, raise, multiply, elevate, swell, inflate;
improve, make better, boost, ameliorate, enhance, enrich, upgrade;
worsen, make worse, exacerbate, aggravate, inflame, compound, reinforce
informal up, jack up, hike up, hike, bump up, crank up, step up


Pronunciation: /ˈɪŋkriːs/
A rise in the size, amount, or degree of something: an increase of 28.3 per cent [mass noun]: some increase in inflation is expected
More example sentences
  • No money was available to cover pay rises, and if increases were given jobs could be lost.
  • The union has asked for the increase to counter the rise in council tax and house prices in the city.
  • This scenario would probably give rise to gradual increases in geothermal gradient.
growth, rise, enlargement, expansion, extension, multiplication, elevation, swelling, inflation;
increment, addition, augmentation;
climb, escalation, surge, upsurge, upswing, spiral;
improvement, boost, amelioration, enhancement, upgrade, upturn;
development, advance, boom, spurt, snowballing, mushrooming
informal hike


on the increase

Becoming greater, more common, or more frequent: fraud is on the increase
More example sentences
  • It's a disease that is more common than you might think - and it's on the increase.
  • One of the reasons, of course, is that fraud is on the increase and that affects the rest of us who end up having to pay higher premiums as a result.
  • It is not known whether it is on the increase or not, but it is being reported more frequently.



Pronunciation: /ɪŋˈkriːsəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • The beam from the inside was increasable, and he saw what the enemy's last sight would be if completely engulfed by the beam.
  • The use of such increasable volume disposable bags provided with a collar is considerably less expensive than the cost of disposable or single-use bottles.
  • Initial draft is 16.5 meters increasable to 17.5 meters.


Middle English (formerly also as encrease): from Old French encreistre, from Latin increscere, from in- 'into' + crescere 'grow'.

  • crescent from Late Middle English:

    The Romans referred to the thin curve of the waxing moon early in its cycle as luna crescens, ‘growing moon’. Crescens comes from Latin crescere ‘to grow’, the source of many English words such as the late 19th century curved croissant (the French form of crescent), accrue (Late Middle English), decrease (Late Middle English), and increase (Late Middle English). From being applied to the moon the word came to be applied to anything of that same shape. See also crew

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: in|crease

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.