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exacerbate

[ig-zas-er-beyt, ek-sas-]
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verb (used with object), ex·ac·er·bat·ed, ex·ac·er·bat·ing.
  1. to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate.
  2. to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate.
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Origin of exacerbate

1650–60; < Latin exacerbātus (past participle of exacerbāre to exasperate, provoke), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + acerbātus acerbate
Related formsex·ac·er·bat·ing·ly, adverbex·ac·er·ba·tion, nounun·ex·ac·er·bat·ed, adjectiveun·ex·ac·er·bat·ing, adjective
Can be confusedexacerbate exasperate

Synonyms

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1. intensify, inflame, worsen.

Antonyms

1. relieve, soothe, alleviate.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for exacerbating

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Indeed his manner had always been most irritating and exacerbating to Arrelsford.

    Secret Service

    Cyrus Townsend Brady

  • He lives with Lady Holland, and amuses himself by exacerbating her fears of illness and death.

  • Her trouble, though of a kind proverbially the most hardening and exacerbating, had an entirely contrary tendency on her.

    The Young Step-Mother

    Charlotte M. Yonge

  • The influence of menstruation in exacerbating acne has been called in question, but it seems to be well established.

  • It had come to her, an intolerably pathetic messenger and accuser, out of the exacerbating frowsiness of the Cedars.

    Hilda Lessways

    Arnold Bennett


British Dictionary definitions for exacerbating

exacerbate

verb (tr)
  1. to make (pain, disease, emotion, etc) more intense; aggravate
  2. to exasperate or irritate (a person)
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Derived Formsexacerbation, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Latin exacerbāre to irritate, from acerbus bitter
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for exacerbating

exacerbate

v.

1650s, a back-formation from exacerbation or else from Latin exacerbatus, past participle of exacerbare (see exacerbation). Related: Exacerbated; exacerbating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper