I normally use Thesaurus.com for all of my synonyming needs, but it doesn't seem to think "steepen" is a word. I was wondering if anyone knew of a synonym of the verb "to steepen".

Steepen: To become or cause to become steeper.

  • 2
    It might help to include the entire sentence you are trying to write because it appears that a synonym for steepen will be obscure or awkward.
    – Em.
    Jun 11, 2016 at 0:08
  • I doubt I've ever used steepen as a transitive verb. But surely you can check more than one dictionary. As probablyme suggests, a sentence you want to use one in might help. Jun 11, 2016 at 0:21
  • When we rotate the plane, we steepen its slope. The bulldozer steepened the bank.
    – TimR
    Jun 11, 2016 at 20:31

1 Answer 1


As a transitive verb, I'd use "make steeper".

I made the driveway steeper to avoid blocking the gutter.

As an intransitive verb, I'd use "get steeper" or "become steeper".

The trail got steeper as we neared the peak of the mountain.

To me, steepen would sound strange when used as a transitive, and would sound "correct" but somewhat formal when used as an intransitive verb.

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