Is there a word (verb) which means 'increasing the complexity of the structure' or 'increasing the image size/resolution?'

I thought of tessellate but its meaning is not exactly what I need. Also, I think it's more related to surfaces of 3D objects, whereas I'm working with 2D.

  • 1
    Perhaps Mandelbrotian, or even fractal. What's the exact context and meaning again? Nov 26, 2014 at 14:15
  • Complexity and higher resolution can be quite different things.
    – TimR
    Nov 26, 2014 at 14:30
  • I'm afraid Mandelbrotian or fractal are unrelated here. See a good dictionary.
    – Kris
    Nov 26, 2014 at 14:34
  • @TRomano In the given context, they are related.
    – Kris
    Nov 26, 2014 at 14:36
  • 2
    Enhance Nov 26, 2014 at 15:07

5 Answers 5


You might be looking for "upsample", which is like resample but specifically for "making more pixels" (in the context of raster images), and is the opposite of downsample.

Interpolation does not necessarily mean upsampling, because downsampling also uses interpolation.

Also be advised that strictly speaking - you're not enhancing, you're not increasing complexity, you're not necessarily increasing resolution. Even more strictly speaking - you're not necessarily increasing the size either.

You're "stretching" (wrong term, but perhaps more natural) an image with a specific amount of pixels across a larger amount of pixels.

  • Yeah, this sounds most accurate for what I'm doing. I've used "upscale" but that doesn't tell more specifically how I'm doing it. "Upsample" might be more specific
    – Val
    Nov 27, 2014 at 8:08

Elaborate, meaning to work out in fine detail. It doesn't have quite the right connotations, but the definition matches.


I believe "Interpolation" is to increase the resolution of an image by calculating a value in-between two other values. Its not really increasing complexity though.

  • Interpolation is about averaging values. You can interpolate without changing the resolution (you will get a sort of blurring then).
    – Val
    Nov 27, 2014 at 9:05

You wrote:

But I'm not "enhancing" the image in the sci-fi meaning. I'm just making a small image bigger in size (plus recalculating other, invisible properties like the dpi value)

You're looking for zoom.

  • Not sure about that. Zoom sounds like you're just closing in whereas I am modifying (enlarging) the image permanently
    – Val
    Nov 26, 2014 at 15:44
  • Do you just want enlarge then? That's been the term of art in photography for decades.
    – Dan Bron
    Nov 26, 2014 at 15:45
  • Hmmm, maybe I am looking too far and trying to come up with something too accurate for my algorithm
    – Val
    Nov 27, 2014 at 8:06

Also consider:

upsize, “To make larger or more numerous” — en.wiktionary
upgrade, in sense “to replace an existing object with something better” — en.wiktionary
complexify, “To make something more complex; to complicate” — en.wiktionary
transmogrify, “To completely alter the form of” — en.wiktionary
embiggen, “(rare, nonstandard) To enlarge or grow; to make or become bigger” — en.wiktionary
swell, “To cause to become bigger” — en.wiktionary
aggrandize, “To make great; to enlarge; to increase” — en.wiktionary
enlarge [previously mentioned in a comment], “To make larger” — en.wiktionary

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