"The pain kept increasing."

I was looking for a substitute of "increasing" that expresses the idea that pain didn't subside and instead intensified.

I have overused these words (increasing, worsening, getting worse, intensifying...); so, I'm looking for some other words to capture the expression.


Try growing, spreading, or phrases that have the format becoming/growing [more] + ADJ.

The latter strategy will enable you to expand the possible range of descriptions with adjectives like unbearable, excruciating, agonizing, tormenting, and similar.



The pain kept creeping up.

  • 2
    Strangely that crept up from another answer... – user98955 Dec 18 '14 at 11:01

Exacerbated is a good word to describe an increase in the intensity of pain (or more generally, any unpleasant sensation).

E.g. of usage: "Rather than helping to alleviate the pain of my wound, the drug actually exacerbated it!"

  • That usage would require something to change the level of pain. If the pain increased or worsened on its own, it cannot be exacerbated. – March Ho Dec 18 '14 at 12:27
  • @MarchHo It's true that "exacerbate" implies a causal agent. If you don't want this implication, then intensified would be a more generic substitute. But the OP has already excluded this from consideration. – Deepak Dec 18 '14 at 12:31

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