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How to pronounce aggravate (audio)

Dictionary definition of aggravate

To make a situation, problem, or condition worse or more severe, often by increasing its intensity, severity, or irritation.
"His refusal to apologize only served to aggravate the situation."

Detailed meaning of aggravate

When someone or something aggravates a situation, it exacerbates or intensifies the negative aspects, leading to greater frustration, discomfort, or difficulty. For example, applying pressure to a minor injury can aggravate it, causing increased pain or damage. In everyday usage, "aggravate" is also employed to describe actions or behaviors that annoy or irritate someone, worsening their mood or overall experience. It is important to address aggravating factors in various contexts, whether they pertain to health, relationships, or environmental issues, to prevent further harm or discomfort.

Example sentences of aggravate

1. Loud noises tend to aggravate my headaches.
2. Skipping meals can aggravate stomach ulcers.
3. The construction outside my window continues to aggravate me with its noise.
4. His constant complaining began to aggravate everyone in the room.
5. The harsh soap seemed to aggravate her skin condition.
6. Making hasty decisions might aggravate the situation further.

History and etymology of aggravate

The verb 'aggravate' originates from the Latin word 'aggravare,' which is a combination of 'ad,' meaning 'to' or 'toward,' and 'gravare,' meaning 'to make heavy' or 'to burden.' This etymology conveys the notion of 'making something heavier' or 'adding weight to it.' In its modern usage, 'aggravate' has evolved to mean making a situation, problem, or condition worse or more severe by increasing its intensity, severity, or irritation. The etymology of 'aggravate' reflects the idea that when you aggravate a situation, you metaphorically 'add weight' to it, making it more burdensome or troublesome.

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Further usage examples of aggravate

1. Stress and lack of sleep often aggravate mental health issues.
2. The politician's comments served only to aggravate tensions among the rival groups.
3. Please do not aggravate the dog by pulling his tail.
4. The misuse of antibiotics can aggravate the development of resistant bacteria.
5. Harsh weather conditions can aggravate the difficulties faced by outdoor workers.
6. She found that eating spicy food would aggravate her acid reflux.
7. The manager’s dismissive attitude served to aggravate the already frustrated customer.
8. The heavy rainfall is expected to aggravate the flooding in the area.
9. Unfair criticism and negative comments can aggravate an artist’s creative block.
10. Playing sports without proper warm-up exercises can aggravate muscle injuries.
11. Adding too many details to the design may aggravate the simplicity of the concept.
12. Constant interruptions during a meeting can aggravate participants and lead to inefficiency.
13. Overwatering plants can aggravate root rot and other diseases.
14. The coach’s aggressive behavior served to aggravate the tension between the two teams.


Quiz categories containing aggravate


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Multiple Choice Game

Multiple Choice

Opposite Words Game

Opposite Words

Same or Different Game



Spelling Bee



worsen, alleviate, soothe, improve

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