• synonyms


verb (used with object), ex·ag·ger·at·ed, ex·ag·ger·at·ing.
  1. to magnify beyond the limits of truth; overstate; represent disproportionately: to exaggerate the difficulties of a situation.
  2. to increase or enlarge abnormally: Those shoes exaggerate the size of my feet.
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verb (used without object), ex·ag·ger·at·ed, ex·ag·ger·at·ing.
  1. to employ exaggeration, as in speech or writing: a person who is always exaggerating.
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Origin of exaggerate

1525–35; < Latin exaggerātus (past participle of exaggerāre heap up), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + agger heap + -ātus -ate1
Related formsex·ag·ger·at·ing·ly, adverbex·ag·ger·a·tor, nounnon·ex·ag·ger·at·ing, adjectiveo·ver·ex·ag·ger·ate, verb, o·ver·ex·ag·ger·at·ed, o·ver·ex·ag·ger·at·ing.un·ex·ag·ger·at·ing, adjective



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

Examples from the Web for exaggerator

Historical Examples

  • They say that you are blind, a dreamer, an exaggerator—a liar, in short!

    Daily Thoughts

    Charles Kingsley

  • "I must perform my official duties," remarked the King's Exaggerator.

    The Missing Prince

    G. E. Farrow

  • “I trust you realise what an exaggerator I am—that I lay myself out to exaggerate,” he writes.

    Familiar Studies of Men and Books

    Robert Louis Stevenson

  • You will see—in brief, the only exaggerator in the South is Old Sol, for he does enlarge everything he touches.

  • He was every inch a Gascon, a boastful talker, an exaggerator, fond of posing and a little of a bully.

British Dictionary definitions for exaggerator


  1. to regard or represent as larger or greater, more important or more successful, etc, than is true
  2. (tr) to make greater, more noticeable, etc, than usualhis new clothes exaggerated his awkwardness
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Derived Formsexaggeratingly, adverbexaggeration, nounexaggerative or exaggeratory, adjectiveexaggerator, noun

Word Origin

C16: from Latin exaggerāre to magnify, from aggerāre to heap, from agger heap
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 exaggerator



1530s, "to pile up, accumulate," from Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare "heighten, amplify, magnify," literally "to heap, pile, load, fill," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + aggerare "heap up," from agger (genitive aggeris) "heap," from aggerere "bring together, carry toward," from ad- "to, toward" + gerere "carry" (see gest). Sense of "overstate" first recorded in English 1560s. Related: Exaggerated; exaggerating.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper