Definition of intensify in English:



  • 1Become or make more intense:

    [no object] ‘the dispute began to intensify’
    [with object] ‘they had intensified their military campaign’
    • ‘The Norwegian side is also interested in intensifying bilateral military cooperation with Russia.’
    • ‘The transatlantic rivalry that has already begun will inevitably intensify.’
    • ‘Meantime, the competition is intensifying in the desert cities of the north.’
    • ‘And they did it at a time when competition was intensifying on a global scale.’
    • ‘A new survey shows that banks are being forced to cut the margins they earn on loans as competition for customers intensifies.’
    • ‘The place to be these days is in one of the accession countries, as the focus on EU enlargement begins to intensify.’
    • ‘That competition has intensified with the arrival of the internet which has simplified the process of shopping around.’
    • ‘This intensifies the competition among workers trying to get work, and lowers wages.’
    • ‘As the competition intensifies to excel in information technology, the division will likely widen.’
    • ‘During the following month the pain in her arm began to intensify.’
    • ‘Gradually the relationship began to intensify and, in 1991, they married.’
    • ‘Card companies have been cutting interest rates to attract new business as competition intensifies.’
    • ‘As competition among companies intensifies, firms adopt aggressive marketing strategies to attract patients.’
    • ‘To intensify the competition there will be status tables visible to everyone in an organisation.’
    • ‘This competition is intensifying with new countries entering the race for these people.’
    • ‘Analysts predict that US sanctions against Iraq will intensify and that a military campaign cannot be ruled out.’
    • ‘Still, analysts said it may need to expand overseas as competition intensified.’
    • ‘A rush of warmth flowed through his body, and it quickly began to intensify, growing searingly hot.’
    • ‘So, competition intensifies even before the next serious phase of education comes in.’
    • ‘Labor is set to intensify attacks on housing affordability if interest rates go up on Wednesday.’
    escalate, step up, boost, increase, raise, sharpen, strengthen, augment, add to, concentrate, reinforce
    gain strength, pick up, build up, heighten, deepen, broaden, widen, extend, expand, amplify, magnify
    aggravate, exacerbate, make worse, worsen, inflame, compound
    View synonyms
  • 2Photography
    [with object] Increase the opacity of (a negative) using a chemical:

    ‘the negative may be intensified with bichloride’
    • ‘The researchers say that increasing the amount of zirconium may intensify the color.’


Early 19th century: coined by Coleridge.