aggravate
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈæɡ.ɹə.veɪ̯t/
Verb

aggravate (aggravates, present participle aggravating; past and past participle aggravated)

  1. To make (an offence) worse or more severe; to increase in offensiveness or heinousness. [from 16th c.]
    • 1595 December 9 (first known performance)​, William Shakespeare, “The life and death of King Richard the Second”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: Printed by Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358 ↗, [Act I, scene i], page 23 ↗, column 2:
      Once more, the more to aggrauate the note,
      With a foule Traitors name ſtuffe I thy throte,
      And wiſh (ſo pleaſe my Soueraigne) ere I moue,
      What my tong ſpeaks, my right drawn ſword may proue
    • 1709 Joseph Addison, The Tatler
      The defense made by the prisoner's counsel did rather aggravate than extenuate his crime.
  2. (by extension) To make worse; to exacerbate. [from 16th c.]
    • 1726, Homer; [William Broome], transl., “Book XVI”, in The Odyssey of Homer. […], volume IV, London: Printed for Bernard Lintot, OCLC 8736646 ↗:
      to aggravate my woes.
    • 1837, William H. Prescott, History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella the Catholic
      […] to aggravate the horrors of the scene
  3. (now, rare) To give extra weight or intensity to; to exaggerate, to magnify. [from 16th c.]
    He aggravated the story.
  4. (obsolete) To pile or heap (something heavy or onerous) on or upon someone. [16th–18th c.]
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, Oxford 2009, p. 28:
      In order to lighten the crown still further, they aggravated responsibility on ministers of state.
  5. (now, chiefly, colloquial) To exasperate; to provoke or irritate. [from 16th c.]
    • 1748, Samuel Richardson, Clarissa:
      If both were to aggravate her parents, as my brother and sister do mine.
    • 1977, Alistair Horne, A Savage War of Peace, New York Review Books 2006, p. 85:
      Ben Bella was aggravated by having to express himself in French because the Egyptians were unable to understand his Arabic.
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  • Russian: усложня́ть
Translations


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