from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To vex or annoy.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

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

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective rare Embittered; having a sour disposition or nature.
  • verb To exasperate; to irritate.
  • verb To make bitter or sour.

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

  • verb cause to be bitter or resentful
  • verb make sour or bitter


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

[Latin acerbāre, acerbāt-, to make harsh, from acerbus, harsh; see acerbic.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin acerbātus, perfect passive participle of acerbō ("make bitter"), from acerbus ("bitter").


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

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  • 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.

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    Phineas Finn 2004

  • 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 2004

  • 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 2004

  • 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 2003

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

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