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[uh-gran-dahyz, ag-ruhn-dahyz]
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verb (used with object), ag·gran·dized, ag·gran·diz·ing.
  1. to widen in scope; increase in size or intensity; enlarge; extend.
  2. to make great or greater in power, wealth, rank, or honor.
  3. to make (something) appear greater.
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Also especially British, ag·gran·dise.

Origin of aggrandize

1625–35; < French aggrandiss- (long stem of aggrandir to magnify), equivalent to ag- ag- + grand (see grand) + -iss -ish2, irregular equated with -ize
Related formsag·gran·dize·ment [uh-gran-diz-muhnt] /əˈgræn dɪz mənt/, nounag·gran·diz·er [uh-gran-dahy-zer, ag-ruhndahy-] /əˈgræn daɪ zər, ˈægˌrəndaɪ-/, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

acclaim, ennoble, dignify, commend, distinguish, parlay, extend, heighten, enlarge, increase, boost, glorify, magnify, applaud, multiply, intensify, expand, jump, augment, hike

Examples from the Web for aggrandize

Historical Examples

  • To aggrandize his own has been for years his sole end and aim.

    Edmond Dants

    Edmund Flagg

  • The first of these moves was to aggrandize the "Association" to a "Church."

    Christian Science

    Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)

  • If the Guises were French princes, their interest would be to aggrandize France.

    Chicot the Jester

    Alexandre Dumas, Pere

  • The people were virtually enslaved to aggrandize a single person.

  • His wish to re-establish his house grew into an ardent desire to aggrandize it.

    A Love Story

    A Bushman

British Dictionary definitions for aggrandize



verb (tr)
  1. to increase the power, wealth, prestige, scope, etc, of
  2. to cause (something) to seem greater; magnify; exaggerate
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Derived Formsaggrandizement or aggrandisement (əˈɡrændɪzmənt), nounaggrandizer or aggrandiser, noun

Word Origin

C17: from Old French aggrandiss-, long stem of aggrandir to make bigger, from Latin grandis grand; the ending -ize is due to the influence of verbs ending in -ise, -ize
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 aggrandize


1630s, "to make larger, increase," from French agrandiss-, present participle stem of agrandir "to augment" (16c.), ultimately from Latin ad "to" (see ad-) + grandire "to make great," from grandis (see grand (adj.)). The double -g- spelling in English is by analogy with Latin words in ad-. Related: Aggrandized; aggrandizing.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper