AskDefine | Define intensive

Dictionary Definition

intensive adj
1 characterized by a high degree or intensity; often used as a combining form; "the questioning was intensive"; "intensive care"; "research-intensive"; "a labor-intensive industry"
2 tending to give force or emphasis; "an intensive adverb"
3 of agriculture; intended to increase productivity of a fixed area by expending more capital and labor; "intensive agriculture"; "intensive conditions" [ant: extensive] n : a modifier that has little meaning except to intensify the meaning it modifies; "`up' in `finished up' is an intensifier"; "`honestly' in `I honestly don't know' is an intensifier" [syn: intensifier]

User Contributed Dictionary



Existing since , borrowed via from intensivus, from intendere.


  • /ɪnˈtɛnsɪv/


  1. Thorough, to a great degree, with intensity.
    She was moved to the intensive care unit of the hospital.
  2. Demanding, requiring a great amount.
    This job is difficult because it is so labour-intensive.

Related terms


  1. Form of a word is one which denotes stronger or more forceful action as compared with the root on which the intensive is built.



intensive p

Extensive Definition

In grammar, an intensive form of a word is one which denotes stronger or more forceful action as compared with the root on which the intensive is built. Intensives are usually lexical formations, but there may be a regular process for forming intensives from a base root. Intensive formations, for example, existed in Proto-Indo-European, and in many of the Semitic languages.
In Classical Arabic, Form II (faʿʿal-a) can form intensives, in addition to causatives; while form IV (afʿal-a) forms only causitives. Hebrew has a similar distinction between the "pi`el" (intensive) and "hiph`il" (causative) binyans. Some Germanic languages have intensive prefixes or particles that can be attached to verbs; consider German zer-, which adds the meaning of "... into pieces", e.g. reißen "to rip" zerreißen "to rip to pieces".
Latin had verbal prefixes e- and per- that could be more or less freely added onto any verb and variously added such meanings as "to put a great deal of effort into doing something". When the same prefixes (per especially) were added onto adjectives, the resulting meaning was "very X" or "extremely X".

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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