- Exacerbate is defined as to make worse or more severe.
An example of exacerbate is to lift heavy items while already having a painful back condition.
transitive verbexacerbated, exacerbating
- to make more intense or sharp; aggravate (disease, pain, annoyance, etc.)
- to exasperate; annoy; irritate; embitter
Origin of exacerbate; from Classical Latin exacerbatus, past participle of exacerbare, to exasperate, make angry ; from ex-, intensive + acerbus, bitter: see acerbity
transitive verbex·ac·er·bat·ed, ex·ac·er·bat·ing, ex·ac·er·bates
Origin of exacerbateLatin exacerbāre, exacerbāt- : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex– + acerbāre, to make harsh (from acerbus, harsh; see ak- in Indo-European roots).
(third-person singular simple present exacerbates, present participle exacerbating, simple past and past participle exacerbated)