Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Wikipedia.
intensify; worsen; inflame; increase the severity of: Her response only exacerbated the situation.
Not to be confused with:
exasperate – annoy extremely; incense; vex; anger: She was exasperated by the noisy neighbors.
tr.v. ex·ac·er·bat·ed, ex·ac·er·bat·ing, ex·ac·er·bates
To increase the severity, violence, or bitterness of; aggravate: a speech that exacerbated racial tensions; a heavy rainfall that exacerbated the flood problems.
[Latin exacerbāre, exacerbāt- : ex-, intensive pref.; see ex- + acerbāre, to make harsh (from acerbus, harsh; see ak- in Indo-European roots).]
1. to make (pain, disease, emotion, etc) more intense; aggravate
2. to exasperate or irritate (a person)
[C17: from Latin exacerbāre to irritate, from acerbus bitter]
ex•ac•er•bate(ɪgˈzæs ərˌbeɪt, ɛkˈsæs-)
v.t. -bat•ed, -bat•ing.
1. to increase the severity, bitterness, or violence of (disease, ill feeling, etc.).
2. to embitter the feelings of (a person).
[1650–60; < Latin exacerbātus, past participle of exacerbāre to exasperate =ex- ex-1 + acerbāre to make bitter]
Past participle: exacerbated
Switch to new thesaurus
|Verb||1.||exacerbate - make worse; "This drug aggravates the pain"|
irritate - excite to an abnormal condition, or chafe or inflame; "Aspirin irritates my stomach"
inflame - cause inflammation in; "The repetitive motion inflamed her joint"
alter, change, modify - cause to change; make different; cause a transformation; "The advent of the automobile may have altered the growth pattern of the city"; "The discussion has changed my thinking about the issue"
|2.||exacerbate - exasperate or irritate |
anger - make angry; "The news angered him"