Definitions

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

  • transitive v. To make worse or more troublesome.
  • transitive v. To rouse to exasperation or anger; provoke. See Synonyms at annoy.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. To make worse, or more severe; to render less tolerable or less excusable; to make more offensive; to enhance; to intensify.
  • v. To give coloring to in description; to exaggerate; as, to aggravate circumstances. — William Paley.
  • v. To exasperate; to provoke; to irritate.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To make heavy or heavier; to add to; to increase.
  • transitive v. To make worse, or more severe; to render less tolerable or less excusable; to make more offensive; to enhance; to intensify.
  • transitive v. To give coloring to in description; to exaggerate.
  • transitive v. To exasperate; to provoke; to irritate.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Literally, to add weight to or upon; increase the amount, quantity, or force of; make heavier by added quantity or burden.
  • To make more grave or heavy; increase the weight or pressure of; intensify, as anything evil, disorderly, or troublesome: as, to aggravate guilt or crime, the evils or annoyances of life, etc.
  • To exaggerate; give coloring to in description; give an exaggerated representation of: as, to aggravate circumstances.
  • To provoke; irritate; tease.
  • Synonyms To heighten, raise, increase, magnify; overstate. See list under exaggerate.

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

  • v. make worse
  • v. exasperate or irritate

Etymologies

Latin aggravāre, aggravāt- : ad-, ad- + gravāre, to burden (from gravis, heavy; see gwerə-1 in Indo-European roots).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin aggravatus, past participle of aggravare ("to add to the weight of, make worse, oppress, annoy"), from ad ("to") + gravare ("to make heavy"), from gravis ("heavy"). See grave and compare aggrieve and aggredge. (Wiktionary)

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