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Line breaks: ex|acer|bate
Pronunciation: /ɪɡˈzasəbeɪt
, ɛkˈsas-/

Definition of exacerbate in English:


[with object]
Make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse: rising inflation was exacerbated by the collapse of oil prices
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.
aggravate, make worse, worsen, inflame, compound;
make matters worse, compound the problem


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'.



Pronunciation: /-ˈbeɪʃ(ə)n/
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.

Definition of exacerbate in:

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