aggravate

aggravative, adj.aggravator, n.
/ag"reuh vayt'/, v.t., aggravated, aggravating.
1. to make worse or more severe; intensify, as anything evil, disorderly, or troublesome: to aggravate a grievance; to aggravate an illness.
2. to annoy; irritate; exasperate: His questions aggravate her.
3. to cause to become irritated or inflamed: The child's constant scratching aggravated the rash.
[1425-75; late ME < L aggravatus (ptp. of aggravare), equiv. to ag- AG- + grav- (see GRAVE2) + -atus -ATE1; cf. AGGRIEVE]
Syn. 1. heighten, increase. AGGRAVATE, INTENSIFY both mean to increase in degree. To AGGRAVATE is to make more serious or more grave: to aggravate a danger, an offense, a wound. To INTENSIFY is perceptibly to increase intensity, force, energy, vividness, etc.: to intensify heat, color, rage. 2. anger, vex, rile.
Ant. 1. alleviate.
Usage. The two most common senses of AGGRAVATE are "to make worse" and "to annoy or exasperate." Both senses first appeared in the early 17th century at almost the same time; the corresponding two senses of the noun AGGRAVATION also appeared then. Both senses of AGGRAVATE and AGGRAVATION have been standard since then. The use of AGGRAVATE to mean "annoy" is sometimes objected to because it departs from the etymological meaning "to make heavier," and in formal speech and writing the sense "annoy" is somewhat less frequent than "to make worse." The noun AGGRAVATION meaning "annoyance" occurs in all types of speech and writing.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • Aggravate — Ag gra*vate, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Aggravated}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Aggravating}.] [L. aggravatus, p. p. of aggravare. See {Aggrieve}.] 1. To make heavy or heavier; to add to; to increase. [Obs.] To aggravate thy store. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • aggravate — ag·gra·vate / a grə ˌvāt/ vt vat·ed, vat·ing: to make more serious, more severe, or worse maliciousness aggravated the offense aggravated her preexisting condition aggravating factors compare …   Law dictionary

  • aggravate — (v.) 1520s, make heavy, burden down, from pp. adjective aggravate burdened; threatened (late 15c.), from L. aggravatus, pp. of aggravare to render more troublesome, lit. to make heavy (see AGGRAVATION (Cf. aggravation)). Earlier in this sense was …   Etymology dictionary

  • aggravate — The meaning ‘to annoy or exasperate’ has existed in good sources since the early 17c; despite this, Fowler (1926) recommended that it ‘should be left to the uneducated’. The dominance of the current sense has not put paid to the original meaning …   Modern English usage

  • aggravate — [v1] annoy be at*, be on the back of*, bother, bug, bum*, dog, drive up the wall*, exasperate, gall, get, get on one’s nerves, get to, give a hard time, grate, hack, irk, irritate, nag, needle, nettle, peeve, pester, pick on, pique, provoke,… …   New thesaurus

  • aggravate — ► VERB 1) make worse. 2) informal annoy or exasperate. DERIVATIVES aggravating adjective aggravation noun. USAGE Aggravate in the sense ‘annoy or exasperate’ is in widespread use in modern English and dates back to the 17th century, but the use… …   English terms dictionary

  • aggravate — 1 heighten, *intensify, enhance Analogous words: magnify, aggrandize (see EXALT): augment, *increase, multiply, enlarge Antonyms: alleviate Contrasted words: lighten, mitigate, allay (see RELIEVE): *palliate, extenuate: lessen, reduce, diminish,… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • aggravate — [ag′rə vāt΄] vt. aggravated, aggravating [< L aggravatus, pp. of aggravare, to make heavier < ad , to + gravis, heavy: see GRAVE1] 1. to make worse; make more burdensome, troublesome, etc. 2. Informal to exasperate; annoy; vex SYN.… …   English World dictionary

  • aggravate — verb 1) the new law could aggravate the situation Syn: worsen, make worse, exacerbate, inflame, compound; add fuel to the fire/flames, add insult to injury, rub salt in the wound Ant: alleviate, improve 2) informal you don …   Thesaurus of popular words

  • aggravate — transitive verb ( vated; vating) Etymology: Latin aggravatus, past participle of aggravare to make heavier, from ad + gravare to burden, from gravis heavy more at grieve Date: 1530 1. obsolete a. to make heavy ; burden …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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