• synonyms


[ag-ruh-vey-shuh n]
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  1. an increase in intensity, seriousness, or severity; act of making worse: an aggravation of pain.
  2. the state of being aggravated.
  3. something that causes an increase in intensity, degree, or severity.
  4. annoyance; exasperation: Johnny causes me so much aggravation!
  5. a source or cause of annoyance or exasperation: Johnny's such an aggravation to her!
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Origin of aggravation

1475–85; < Medieval Latin aggravātiōn- (stem of aggravātiō); see aggravate, -ion
Related formso·ver·ag·gra·va·tion, nounpre·ag·gra·va·tion, nounsu·per·ag·gra·va·tion, noun
Can be confusedaggravation annoyance intensification irritation worsening

Usage note

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

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Word Origin and History for aggravation


late 15c., from Middle French aggravation, from Late Latin aggravationem (nominative aggravatio), noun of action from past participle stem of Latin aggravare "make heavier," figuratively "to embarrass further, increase in oppressiveness," from ad "to" (see ad-) + gravare "weigh down," from gravis "heavy" (see grave (adj.)). Oldest sense is "increasing in gravity or seriousness;" that of "irritation" is from 1610s.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper