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English definition of “ratchet sth up/down”

ratchet sth up/down

verb uk phrasal verb with ratchet   /ˈrætʃ.ɪt/ us  
to increase/reduce something over a period of time: The debate should ratchet up awareness of the problem among members of the general public. The government was accused of ratcheting up pressure on the health services. Costs have been ratcheted down by as much as 50 percent since 1999.Increasing and intensifying
(Definition of ratchet sth up/down from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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