The dictionary meaning of the word Augment is to make (something) greater by adding to it. Is the scope of the word restricted to just quantity or does it extend to quality as well?

For example: 'Her secretarial work helped to augment her husband's income' refers specifically to an increase in quantity.

But can the word be used like: 'He augmented the code by including XYZ compatibility' to mean an increase in quantity as well as quality?

Also, is there a better word that can be used to mean an increase in both quantity and quality?

  • Why not? "... and allows users to develop commercial applications based on the code, or to augment the code for their implementations." books.google.com/books?isbn=1849803315
    – Kris
    Mar 3, 2015 at 11:50
  • No. The dictionary meaning of the word augment is : to increase the size or amount of (something) : to add something to (something) in order to improve or complete it : to make greater, more numerous, larger, or more intense <the impact of the report was augmented by its timing> (If you use a better dictionary) (here, M-W) Mar 3, 2015 at 11:59
  • 1
    I would understand augmenting the code as including more lines of code, but not necessrily as adding quality or functionality. You can augment the funcionality of the code, of course.
    – oerkelens
    Mar 3, 2015 at 13:11
  • I think I detect angels dancing on the head of a pin. Has anyone been able to count how many there are?
    – Hot Licks
    Mar 3, 2015 at 14:06
  • @oerkelens While it may literally just refer to adding more lines of code, it will be generally understood that the reason for that is to add quality of functionality. So the two senses will naturally be conflated.
    – Barmar
    Mar 3, 2015 at 21:40

1 Answer 1


As an alternative, consider the term enhance

Intensify, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of: his refusal does nothing to enhance his reputation computer techniques that enhance images

Oxford Dictionaries Online

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