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I have seen double and double again a lot. Redouble, not so much.

I found out that redouble can mean to double again, to double, or in general to intensify whether that is double, triple, quintuple, or something else.

So if I want to use double again I pretty much know when to use it. However I wouldn't know when to use redouble or if I should use it at all.

If I use redouble where I would usually use double then the reader would think that it has doubled twice.

If I use redouble where I would usually use triple or quintuple or something besides double then again the reader will think that it has doubled again when it might have tripled.

If I use redouble where I would usually use double again the reader wouldn't have the intensify vs double again confusion but still the reader might think "It is irrelavant to use redouble when you could just use double again."

So should I use redouble in any scenario when writing or editing or should I just use double, double again, triple etc. which I would usually use?

I am trying to expand my vocabulary while editing so that is why I am asking if I should ever use redouble?

  • This question is more appropriate for English; any objection to having it migrated there? – Goodbye Stack Exchange Feb 2 '16 at 14:22
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    The fact that I am doing this while editing my story and that I am asking if I should ever use redouble in any scenario when that could lead to intensify vs double again confusion. Also that last paragraph explaining why I am asking this makes me think that this is better where it currently is – Caters Feb 2 '16 at 19:31
  • Okay, I'll leave it be. I suspect the close-voters are considering this question similar to a single-word-request, a type of question off-topic here and usually sent to English. (More in this meta thread if you're interested.) – Goodbye Stack Exchange Feb 3 '16 at 4:01
  • That said, I think this is okay here. But you'd get a more interesting history of the word and its usage on English. – Goodbye Stack Exchange Feb 3 '16 at 4:01
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"Redouble" is almost always used in the idiom to redouble one's effort, meaning to increase the effort one is exerting.

"Double again" has the very specific meaning of This was increased by 100% of the original, to make 200%, and will now be increased by 100% of that, making it 400% of the original.

Which one you want to use is dependent on context and your intended meaning.

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Instead of trying to use a derivative of double, you can use the suffix -fold.

three·fold

three times as great or as numerous.

"a threefold increase in the number of stolen cars"

There is no real maximum number that can be used for this. You can use ten-fold, one hundred-fold, etc.

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In this context, redoubling your effort means trying harder, but not by any set amount. Maybe 150% of the original effort. At least that's the understood meaning in modern English.

If you're speaking the language the word comes from (French), "redoubler" is to double again, or 400% of original. The same is true if you're playing a bidding game (like contract bridge).

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