use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

To look up an entry in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, use the search window above. For best results, after typing in the word, click on the “Search” button instead of using the “enter” key.

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you type them in the search bar. For best results with compound words, place a quotation mark before the compound word in the search window.

guide to the dictionary

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. Annual surveys have gauged the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY BLOG

The articles in our blog examine new words, revised definitions, interesting images from the fifth edition, discussions of usage, and more.

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

in·crease (ĭn-krēs)
Share:
v. in·creased, in·creas·ing, in·creas·es
v.intr.
1. To become greater or larger.
2. To multiply; reproduce.
v.tr.
To make greater or larger.
n. (ĭnkrēs)
1. The act of increasing: a steady increase in temperature.
2. The amount or rate by which something is increased: a tax increase of 15 percent.
3. Obsolete Reproduction and spread; propagation.
Idiom:
on the increase
Increasing, especially in frequency of occurrence: Crime is on the increase.

[Middle English encresen, from Old French encreistre, encreiss-, from Latin incrēscere : in-, intensive pref.; see IN-2 + crēscere, to grow; see ker-2 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

in·creasa·ble adj.
in·creaser n.
in·creasing·ly adv.

Synonyms: increase, expand, enlarge, augment, multiply1
These verbs mean to make or become greater or larger. Increase sometimes suggests steady growth: The president's economic program is designed to increase consumer confidence. The city's population increased during the last decade. Expand applies especially to an increase in size, volume, or scope: Visiting the botanical garden has expanded my interest in tropical plants. These plant fibers expand when water is plentiful. Enlarge often implies an increase in size, area, or extent, as by widening or broadening: The landowner enlarged her property by repeated purchases. The disease causes the kidneys to enlarge. Augment usually applies to an increase that is already developed or well under way: She augmented her collection of books each month. As the pressure augments, the volume of the steam decreases. To multiply is to increase in number: The internet has multiplied the ways in which consumers can buy goods. The number of tourists visiting the town has multiplied since the highway opened.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices

    Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

    Indo-European Roots

    Semitic Roots

    The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.