One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
with object To exacerbate (a negative feeling or problem); (occasionally) †to sour or embitter (a person) (obsolete).
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in The Echo. From classical Latin acerbātus, past participle of acerbāre. Compare earlier acerbate<br>mid 17th century; earliest use found in Nicholas Billingsley (bap. 1633, d. 1709), religious poet and Presbyterian minister. From classical Latin acerbāt-, past participial stem of acerbāre to embitter, to make worse, aggravate from acerbus.
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