Verb aggravate Definition and Examples



Definition as verb:


aggravate (third-person singular simple present aggravates, present participle aggravating, simple past and past participle aggravated)

  1. To make worse, or more severe; to render less tolerable or less excusable; to make more offensive; to enhance; to intensify.
  2. To give coloring to in description; to exaggerate
  3. To exasperate; to provoke, to irritate.

More definition: make worse or more severe; intensify, as anything evil, disorderly, or troublesome, to aggravate a grievance; to aggravate an illness. annoy; irritate; exasperate, His questions aggravate her. cause to become irritated or inflamed, The child's constant scratching aggravated the rash.

1. to make (a disease, situation, problem, etc) worse or more severe

2. (informal) to annoy; exasperate, esp by deliberate and persistent goading Derived Formsaggravating, adjectiveaggravation, noun Word OriginC16, from Latin aggravāre to make heavier, from gravis heavyCollins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollinsPublishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012 Cite This Source
1520s, "make heavy, burden down," from past participle adjective aggravate "burdened; threatened" (late 15c.), from Latin aggravatus, past participle of aggravare "to render more troublesome," literally "to make heavy" (see aggravation). Earlier in this sense was aggrege (late 14c.). Meaning "to make a bad thing worse" is from 1590s; that of "exasperate, annoy" is from 1610s.To aggravate has properly only one meaning -- to make (an evil) worse or more serious. [Fowler]Related, Aggravated; aggravating. Phrase aggravating circumstances is recorded from 1790.


His success could only aggravate her feelings.

A clash with Parma occurred to aggravate his troubles.

Famine and sickness had begun to aggravate the situation.

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