from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Growth resulting from increase in cell size without cell division.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Extreme hyperbole.
  • n. Arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force.
  • n. Amplification in any form.
  • n. The growth of an organism without cell division

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A figure by which a grave and magnificent word is put for the proper word; amplification; hyperbole.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In rhetoric, amplification; exaggeration; hyperbole; the use of a more unusual and high-sounding word for the ordinary and proper word.
  • n. In mathematics, the ratio in which the element of a figure has to be magnified to make it conform to the corresponding element of a conformable figure.
  • n. In botany, the method of increase in size of the valves of diatoms.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. growth from increase in cell size without cell division


Greek auxēsis, growth, from auxanein, auxē-, to grow; see aug- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek αὐξάνειν (auxanein, "to grow"). (Wiktionary)


  • The one is the discussion of an indefinite question, or general truth, which by the Greeks (as I have before observed) is called a _thesis_: and the other is employed in amplifying and exaggerating, which they call an _auxesis_.

    Cicero's Brutus or History of Famous Orators; also His Orator, or Accomplished Speaker.

  • Would you be happy for CiF and the moderators to assume it was true, and say so, until you managed to prove it wasn't? auxesis

    The Guardian World News

  • Howbeit, there is an emphasis in the expression, which is not to be neglected: for as it is observed by Chrysostom, as containing an auxesis (ouchi ton mē hamartanonta monon legei alla ton mēde gnonta hamartian), and by sundry learned persons after him; so those who desire to learn the excellency of the grace of God herein, will have an impression of a sense of it on their minds from this emphatical expression, which the Holy Ghost chose to make use of unto that end; and the observation of it is not to be despised.

    The Doctrine of Justification by Faith


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  • JM prioritises his auxesis collection catalogue

    June 17, 2010

  • In a wordie sense, consider:

    1. Arranging words or clauses in a sequence of increasing force. In this sense, auxesis is comparable to climax and has sometimes been called incrementum.
    2. A figure of speech in which something is referred to in terms disproportionately large (a kind of exaggeration or hyperbole).
    3. Amplification in general.

    December 20, 2007