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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

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

Related Words

annoyaggravateworsenheightenirritateinflameprovokeintensifyincreaseembitterexasperateenvenomexcitemaddenvexenrage

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British Dictionary definitions for exacerbate

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 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