Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To vex or annoy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Embittered; having a sour disposition or nature.
  • v. To exasperate; to irritate.
  • v. To make bitter or sour.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To sour; to imbitter; to irritate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make sour, bitter, or harsh to the taste; hence, to embitter or exasperate.
  • Embittered; exasperated; severe.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. cause to be bitter or resentful
  • v. make sour or bitter

Etymologies

Latin acerbāre, acerbāt-, to make harsh, from acerbus, harsh; see acerbic.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin acerbātus, perfect passive participle of acerbō ("make bitter"), from acerbus ("bitter"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • With the rating agencies calling even America's triple-A rating into question, not all the euro-zone summit meetings, of which there have been many and will be many more, can persuade lenders that it is a good idea to make capital available to Greece, or Portugal, or Ireland on terms that will not stifle growth in those countries and acerbate their downward spiral.

    Advice for Eurocracy: Take a Tip From Nike and 'Just Do It'

  • He is smart as he could acerbate the problem by riding in with chaps and spurs and strut and the attitude that I AM THE WAY! history repeats

    Is Obama too soft on Iran?

  • Rather than address the problem honestly and have Medicare pick up the medical tab for regular treatment of the uninsured, something that would acerbate the current financial failings of Medicare, they propose to wreck the best health care system in the world with yet another equally flawed government program.

    House Democrat: Health care bill in doubt without public plan

  • No. Is it possible he saw an opportunity to acerbate the situation and shine a brighter light on the problem?

    Clarence B. Jones: Open Memo to President Barack Obama

  • As that pollution is reduced for health reasons, we're going to blast right through 2 degrees, which is enough to ex-acerbate droughts and storms, wreak havoc on agriculture, and produce a planet warmer than it's been in millions of years.

    Climate-Change Calculus

  • The poor girl had not spirit sufficient to upbraid her friend; nor did it suit her now to acerbate an enemy.

    The Way We Live Now

  • He did not wish to acerbate the member for Mile End, and was quite willing to give him a lift towards keeping his seat for the borough, if able to do so without cost to the public exchequer.

    The Three Clerks

  • Lady Laura had triumphed; but she had no desire to acerbate her husband by any unpalatable allusion to her victory.

    Phineas Finn

  • She said one of Eskom's aims was to make people aware about saving electricity because if was not used properly, it would acerbate the possible shortages.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Everything Booth did only seemed to ex-acerbate the problem.

    The Black Hole

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