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Aggravate



to make worse or more severe; intensify, as anything evil, disorderly, or troublesome:
to aggravate a grievance; to aggravate an illness.
to annoy; irritate; exasperate:
His questions aggravate her.
to cause to become irritated or inflamed:
The child’s constant scratching aggravated the rash.
Contemporary Examples

This, in turn, serves to amplify and aggravate differences of interest and power among the competing national groups.
Why the Taliban Won Leslie H. Gelb August 22, 2009

Historical Examples

But the champagne seemed only to aggravate their gloom except in the case of young Jamieson.
The Plum Tree David Graham Phillips

Is it for you to aggravate as a crime, what reason teaches is, at worst, a misfortune?
Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. I Francis Augustus Cox

This is, of course, not his fault, but it seems somehow to aggravate the distaste I have for him.
A Bid for Fortune Guy Boothby

I felt that to obtrude my consolations on her then would only serve to aggravate her sufferings.
The Tenant of Wildfell Hall Anne Bronte

Their wooden grimaces must aggravate the precisely featured houses of the town.
Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht

And Kitty refused her breakfast in consequence—only to aggravate me.
The Strand Magazine, Volume V, Issue 25, January 1893 Various

To aggravate this disaster, a curious sight was seen a fortnight after the fall of the Peñon.
The Story of the Barbary Corsairs Stanley Lane-Poole

When he grew a little better, the Bohemian rather began to aggravate him.
Cruel Barbara Allen David Christie Murray

A herd of others were suborned to aggravate the charges, and to controvert whatever evidence the prisoner might bring forward.
Wilson’s Tales of the Borders and of Scotland, Volume 19 Various

verb (transitive)
to make (a disease, situation, problem, etc) worse or more severe
(informal) to annoy; exasperate, esp by deliberate and persistent goading
v.

1520s, “make heavy, burden down,” from past participle adjective aggravate “burdened; threatened” (late 15c.), from Latin aggravatus, past participle of aggravare “to render more troublesome,” literally “to make heavy” (see aggravation). Earlier in this sense was aggrege (late 14c.). Meaning “to make a bad thing worse” is from 1590s; that of “exasperate, annoy” is from 1610s.

To aggravate has properly only one meaning — to make (an evil) worse or more serious. [Fowler]

Related: Aggravated; aggravating. Phrase aggravating circumstances is recorded from 1790.

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  • Aggravating

    causing or full of : I’ve had an aggravating day. to make worse or more severe; intensify, as anything evil, disorderly, or troublesome: to aggravate a grievance; to aggravate an illness. to annoy; irritate; exasperate: His questions aggravate her. to cause to become irritated or inflamed: The child’s constant scratching aggravated the rash. Contemporary Examples […]



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