Definitions

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

  • transitive verb To increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of; aggravate.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To increase the bitterness or virulence of; make more violent, as a disease, or angry, hostile, or malignant feelings; aggravate; exasperate.

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

  • transitive verb To render more violent or bitter; to irritate; to exasperate; to imbitter, as passions or disease.

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

  • verb transitive To make worse (pain, anger, etc.) worse; aggravate.
  • verb transitive To irritate.

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

  • verb make worse
  • verb exasperate or irritate

Etymologies

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

[Latin exacerbāre, exacerbāt- : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex– + acerbāre, to make harsh (from acerbus, harsh; see ak- in Indo-European roots).]

Examples

  • "How everybody's all pretending they know what in hell the word exacerbate means."

    Alvin Journeyman

  • Although litigation may be necessary at some point, Mr. King's lawsuit has only served to "exacerbate" negotiations with BP, Mr. Riley said in an interview.

    Spill Payments Irk Alabama Business

  • He also warned Nato not to "exacerbate" its presence in the region.

    Russia and Norway resolve Arctic border dispute

  • Why am I sure the Pope's reply will be couched in some stupid definition of "exacerbate" along the lines of "encourage promiscuous behaviour"?

    News from the House of Sticks -

  • Anamika, who tied for fifth in her debut last year, kept both hands behind her back as she rattled off "exacerbate" and "foggara."

    ABC News: Top Stories

  • He added that the proliferation of netbooks and other mobile devices featuring ARM-based processors would be sure to "exacerbate" a rising demand for faster data access.

    TG Daily

  • Geeslin indicated that increasing TWIA rates at this time would "exacerbate" the burdens faced by Texas living along the coast but recognized that "some modest rate increases" might

    Insurance Journal

  • So we kind of exacerbate that dynamic to the fullest.

    Latest News - MovieWeb.com

  • And obviously you kind of exacerbate it by currency.

    SeekingAlpha.com: Home Page

  • Both Wordsworth and Coleridge left Cambridge with a love of literature, and a revolutionary fervor that would only exacerbate their troubles.

    Wordsworth & Coleridge I « Tales from the Reading Room

Comments

New comments are temporarily disabled while we update our database.

  • "And I have to say that what exacerbates the problem is..." - "A Miracle Would Happen," The Last Five Years

    January 10, 2007

  • exAcerBATE

    May 7, 2008

  • But abate is (roughly) an antonym of exacerbate…?

    May 8, 2008

  • That's why it's listed on Kangaroo Words 2.

    May 9, 2008

  • Did look down the list but it's so gigantic I missed it! Damn it.

    May 9, 2008

  • As I always say, I use the word 'exacerbate' at least once in every school assignment, because almost everything will inevitably get worse ^_^

    July 4, 2009

  • Eating Animals

    July 2, 2010

  • "These days, schizophrenia is often imagined as the quintessential brain disease, an expression of underlying organic vulnerability perhaps exacerbated by environmental stress, but as real and as obdurate as kidney failure" -- American Scholar

    August 27, 2012

  • make worse

    Her sleeplessness exacerbated her cold--when she woke up the next day, her sinuses were completely blocked.

    October 12, 2016