intensifying

The adjective intensifying describes something that is increasing in strength or degree. The intensifying snowstorm may cause your neighbors to rush to the store for bread and milk, but if you grew up with lots of snow, you know there is no need to panic.

Intensifying is from the verb intensify, a word coined by the famous poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He first used the word in a book to describe the effects of opium — a pain killer which was still legal to buy. He promptly apologized for the new word in a footnote that read in part, "I have therefore hazarded the word, intensify: though, I confess, it sounds uncouth to my own ear." Even so, poetry can be an intensifying use of ordinary language.

Definitions of intensifying
  1. adjective
    increasing in strength or intensity
    Synonyms:
    aggravating, exacerbating, exasperating
    making worse
    augmentative, enhancive
    intensifying by augmentation and enhancement
    deepening, thickening
    accumulating and becoming more intense
    heightening
    reaching a higher intensity
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    Antonyms:
    moderating
    lessening in intensity or strength
    alleviative, alleviatory, lenitive, mitigative, mitigatory, palliative
    moderating pain or sorrow by making it easier to bear
    analgesic, analgetic, anodyne
    capable of relieving pain
    tempering
    moderating by making more temperate
    weakening
    moderating by making pain or sorrow weaker
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