Definitions

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

  • intransitive verb To consider, represent, or cause to appear as larger, more important, or more extreme than is actually the case; overstate.
  • intransitive verb To make overstatements.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To heap up; accumulate.
  • To increase immoderately or extravagantly; make incongruously large or extended; amplify beyond proper bounds.
  • To cause to appear immoderately large or important; amplify in representation or apprehension; enlarge beyond truth or reason.
  • In the fine arts, to heighten extravagantly or disproportionately in effect or design: as, to exaggerate particular features in a painting or statue.
  • To amplify unduly in thought or in description; use exaggeration in speech or writing.

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

  • transitive verb obsolete To heap up; to accumulate.
  • transitive verb To amplify; to magnify; to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth ; to delineate extravagantly ; to overstate the truth concerning.

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

  • verb To overstate, to describe more than is fact.

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

  • verb to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth
  • verb do something to an excessive degree

Etymologies

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

[Latin exaggerāre, exaggerāt-, to heap up, magnify : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex– + aggerāre, to pile up (from agger, pile, from aggerere, to bring to : ad-, ad- + gerere, to bring).]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare ("to heap up, increase, enlarge, magnify, amplify, exaggerate"), from ex ("out, up") + aggerare ("to heap up"), from agger ("a pile, heap, mound, dike, mole, pier, etc."), from aggerere, adgerere ("to bring together"), from ad ("to") + gerere ("to carry").

Examples

  • Talking Points Memo, the calls exaggerate Mr. Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, the former member of the Weather Underground, question the candidate's patriotism by accusing him of

    Clipmarks | Live Clips

  • Talking Points Memo, the calls exaggerate Mr. Obama's ties to Bill Ayers, the former member of the Weather Underground, question the candidate's patriotism by accusing him of

    Clipmarks | Live Clips

  • The online survey, which polled 1,200 people nationwide, found that 75 percent of respondents thought juice labels exaggerate the presence of healthy ingredients in the product, and a majority lacked confidence about a juice's true contents based on what they read on the front label.

    POM Sues Minute Maid For Exploiting Health Benefits Of Pomegranate

  • The online survey, which polled 1,200 people nationwide, found that 75 percent of respondents thought juice labels exaggerate the presence of healthy ingredients in the product, and a majority lacked confidence about a juice's true contents based on what they read on the front label.

    POM Sues Minute Maid For Exploiting Health Benefits Of Pomegranate

  • What your saying is right but all youth that got to know their on earth is mentally conditioned to think like the stronger influences as a youth and the actions and interaction brought to memory get distorted by lack of earth knowledge, and to exaggerate is to be human

    - Latest Popular Stories, Instablogs Community

  • What your saying is right but all youth that got to know their on earth is mentally conditioned to think like the stronger influences as a youth and the actions and interaction brought to memory get distorted by lack of earth knowledge, and to exaggerate is to be human

    - Latest Popular Stories, Instablogs Community

  • What your saying is right but all youth that got to know their on earth is mentally conditioned to think like the stronger influences as a youth and the actions and interaction brought to memory get distorted by lack of earth knowledge, and to exaggerate is to be human

    - Latest Popular Stories, Instablogs Community

  • EDIT (for the person who thinks I "exaggerate")-- Please see above Wikipedia entry, specifically THIS QUOTE (italics mine):

    Archive 2009-08-01

  • EDIT (for the person who thinks I "exaggerate")-- Please see above Wikipedia entry, specifically THIS QUOTE (italics mine):

    Mary Jo Kopechne 1940-1969

  • REID: Well, I think that we kind of exaggerate where people sit.

    CNN Transcript May 6, 2009

Comments

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  • I've told you a thousand times, don't exaggerate!

    January 25, 2007

  • Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

    January 25, 2007

  • "In the fine arts, to heighten extravagantly or disproportionately in effect or design: as, to exaggerate particular features in a painting or statue. Synonyms and To strain, stretch, overcolor, caricature. See list under aggravate." --CD&C

    January 30, 2012