Exacerbate meaning

ĭg-zăsər-bāt
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.

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

A speech that exacerbated racial tensions; a heavy rainfall that exacerbated the flood problems.

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To make more intense or sharp; aggravate (disease, pain, annoyance, etc.)
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To exasperate; annoy; irritate; embitter.
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To make worse (pain, anger, etc.) worse; aggravate.

The proposed shutdown would exacerbate unemployment problems.

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Origin of exacerbate

  • Latin exacerbāre exacerbāt- ex- intensive pref. ex– acerbāre to make harsh (from acerbus harsh ak- in Indo-European roots)

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition