Definition of exacerbate in English:

exacerbate

Syllabification: ex·ac·er·bate
Pronunciation: /igˈzasərˌbāt
 
/

verb

[with object]
  • Make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse: the forest fire was exacerbated by the lack of rain
    More example sentences
    • Rising energy costs, which are a result of a growing scarcity, as well as inflation, are exacerbating the situation.
    • Pilots, unhappy at the increased expectations placed on them, are exacerbating the situation by striking for improved pay and conditions.
    • These issues were all being felt in our local communities, with the last three years of public housing reforms only exacerbating the situation.
    Synonyms
    aggravate, worsen, inflame, compound; intensify, increase, heighten, magnify, add to, amplify, augment
    informal add fuel to the fire/flames

Derivatives

exacerbation

Pronunciation: /igˌzasərˈbāSHən/
noun
More example sentences
  • It is possible to misinterpret worsening of symptoms as an exacerbation of multiple sclerosis.
  • Asthma exacerbations increase morbidity and mortality in patients, decrease their quality of life, and increase the cost of treatment.
  • Additionally, asthma exacerbations are reduced to levels that are arguably as low as might be expected.

Origin

mid 17th century: from Latin exacerbat- 'made harsh', from the verb exacerbare, from ex- (expressing inducement of a state) + acerbus 'harsh, bitter'. The noun exacerbation (late Middle English) originally meant 'provocation to anger'.

Usage

On the difference between exacerbate and exasperate, see exasperate (usage).

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