to unite or join so as to increase the number, quantity, size, or importance:
to add two cups of sugar; to add a postscript to her letter; to add insult to injury.
to find the sum of (often followed by up):
Add this column of figures. Add up the grocery bills.
to say or write further.
to include (usually followed by in):
Don’t forget to add in the tip.
to perform the arithmetic operation of :
children learning to add and subtract.
to be or serve as an (usually followed by to):
His illness added to the family’s troubles.
Journalism. copy added to a completed story.
add up to, to signify; indicate:
The evidence adds up to a case of murder.
add up,

to make the desired, expected, or correct total:
These figures don’t add up right.
to seem reasonable or consistent; be in harmony or accord:
Some aspects of the story didn’t add up.

Contemporary Examples

Salafi preachers took to Islamist satellite channels to add their fury.
U.S. Ambassador to Libya Killed Jamie Dettmer September 11, 2012

add the fighting before that, and the American casualties came to over 62,000.
Blood in the Sand: When James Jones Wrote a Grunt’s View of D-Day James Jones November 14, 2014

Wash rice and add to the boiling water, let it cook until the rice becomes soft (you can test this by biting a few grains).
Persian New Year Celebration With Author Azar Nafisi Karen Fragala Smith March 22, 2011

To add to his woes, the president is repeatedly stiff-armed, both at home and abroad.
The Sprawling, Dimming Age of Obama Lloyd Green June 29, 2013

add the beaten egg and pulse until the mixture comes together in a soft dough.
We Are Off to the Races!! Lydia Brownlow June 6, 2011

Historical Examples

Alternately with the flour and spices, add the vanilla and fruit.
A Thousand Ways to Please a Husband Louise Bennett Weaver

We were overjoyed; and I need not add I was very thankful for this good fortune.
Explorations in Australia John Forrest

“You’ll find them charming—real thoroughbreds,” he saw fit to add.
The Law-Breakers and Other Stories Robert Grant

They have claims on the magnanimity and, I may add, on the justice of this nation which we must all feel.
United States Presidents’ Inaugural Speeches Various

But I neglected to add that it had only been during the past five minutes.
The House by the Lock C. N. Williamson

to combine (two or more numbers or quantities) by addition
(transitive) foll by to. to increase (a number or quantity) by another number or quantity using addition
(transitive) often foll by to. to join (something) to something else in order to increase the size, quantity, effect, or scope; unite (with): to add insult to injury
(intransitive) foll by to. to have an extra and increased effect (on): her illness added to his worries
(transitive) to say or write further
(transitive) foll by in. to include
(informal) an instance of adding someone to one’s list of contacts on a social networking site, esp MySpace: Thanks for the add!
attention deficit disorder

late 14c., “to join or unite (something to something else),” from Latin addere “add to, join, attach, place upon,” from ad- “to” (see ad-) + -dere comb. form meaning “to put, place,” from dare “to give” (see date (n.1)). Meaning “to do sums, do addition” also is from late 14c. Related: Added; adding. To add up “make sense” is from 1942.

ADD abbr.
attention deficit disorder
Abbreviation of attention deficit disorder
Administration on Developmental Disabilities
attention deficit disorder


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  • Add fuel to the fire

    Also, add fuel to the flames . Worsen an already bad situation, as by increasing anger, hostility, or passion, as in Bill was upset, and your making fun of his mishap just added fuel to the fire . This metaphor dates from Roman times—Livy used it in his history of Rome—and it remains in common […]

  • Add-in

    a component, as a video card or chip, added to a computer to expand its capabilities. a small software program that adds a feature to another application. to unite or join so as to increase the number, quantity, size, or importance: to add two cups of sugar; to add a postscript to her letter; to […]

  • Add insult to injury

    Hurt a person’s feelings after doing him or her harm; also, make a bad situation worse. For example, Not only did the club refuse him, but it published a list of the rejected applicants—that’s adding insult to injury, or The nearest parking space was half a mile away, and then, to add insult to injury, […]

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