[ verb as-er-beyt; adjective uh-sur-bit ]
/ verb ˈæs ərˌbeɪt; adjective əˈsɜr bɪt /

verb (used with object), ac·er·bat·ed, ac·er·bat·ing.

to make sour or bitter.
to exasperate.


Origin of acerbate

1725–35; < Latin acerbātus, past participle of acerbāre to make bitter. See acerbic, -ate1 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for acerbate

  • The poor girl had not spirit sufficient to upbraid her friend; nor did it suit her now to acerbate an enemy.

    The Way We Live Now|Anthony Trollope
  • Lady Laura had triumphed; but she had no desire to acerbate her husband by any unpalatable allusion to her victory.

    Phineas Finn|Anthony Trollope

British Dictionary definitions for acerbate


/ (ˈæsəˌbeɪt) /

verb (tr)

to embitter or exasperate
to make sour or bitter

Word Origin for acerbate

C18: from Latin acerbātus, past participle of acerbāre to make sour
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