- to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.); aggravate.
- to embitter the feelings of (a person); irritate; exasperate.
Origin of exacerbate
SynonymsSee more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for exacerbate
They wind up on the streets or in jail, environments that will exacerbate their problems.Government Has Failed the Mentally Ill
September 1, 2014
They can exacerbate splits within a ruling leadership, foment popular unrest, or expedite a dwindling current account.Why Aren’t Sanctions Stopping Putin?
Meghan L. O’Sullivan
May 13, 2014
But instead of taking my edge off, all the wine did was exacerbate my starvation-induced headache.We Were Gwyneth’s GOOP Guinea Pigs
Erin Cunningham, Olivia Nuzzi
March 30, 2014
In this view, new programs—or greater funding for existing ones—would only exacerbate “dependency.”Republicans to the Poor: “You Built That!"
January 23, 2014
But as machines continue to displace humans in a range of fields, they may exacerbate our structural problems with jobs growth.Robotic Technologies Could Aggravate the U.S. Problem of Slow Jobs Growth
July 19, 2013
To remove all things which may alarm, torment, or exacerbate?
It's not for you, and you do but exacerbate the frightful pain there's been in feeling it with them.This Freedom
A. S. M. Hutchinson
Any foreign intervention serves only to exacerbate the situation by increasing the number and intensity of inter-ethnic grudges.After the Rain
- to make (pain, disease, emotion, etc) more intense; aggravate
- to exasperate or irritate (a person)
Word Origin and History for exacerbate
1650s, a back-formation from exacerbation or else from Latin exacerbatus, past participle of exacerbare (see exacerbation). Related: Exacerbated; exacerbating.