Definition of intensify in US English:


verbintensified, intensifies, intensifying

  • 1Become or make more intense.

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