Definition of exacerbate in English:

exacerbate

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • Make (a problem, bad situation, or negative feeling) worse.

    ‘the exorbitant cost of land in urban areas only exacerbated the problem’
    ‘the strong pound has exacerbated the situation by making it much harder for UK companies to compete on price’
    • ‘And if you extend its availability you are merely exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘At least the government is trying to find an actual solution, rather than exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘Significant reductions in the number of primary school pupils are in some cases exacerbating financial problems.’
    • ‘Vehicles driving through the floodwaters were causing waves, exacerbating problems for households already flooded.’
    • ‘The premature closure of Fairhaven Road and problems caused by access from Frenches Road to Linkfield Lane exacerbates the situation.’
    • ‘I find that if I walk fast, it exacerbates the situation and the urge to pee right there on the sidewalk gets stronger.’
    • ‘He also criticised the city's universities for exacerbating the situation.’
    • ‘Along comes a referee intent on making peace but instead of getting both sides to kiss and make up the peacemaker only exacerbates the situation.’
    • ‘The child's detachment exacerbates the parents' feeling of helplessness.’
    • ‘Pilots, unhappy at the increased expectations placed on them, are exacerbating the situation by striking for improved pay and conditions.’
    • ‘The Dartford Tunnel is a bottleneck and removing the tolls would encourage more people to use it, thereby exacerbating the situation.’
    • ‘How can the war continue, they ask, if it's exacerbating the problem it was meant to solve?’
    • ‘She believes that processed food, particularly ready meals, are exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘Rising energy costs, which are a result of a growing scarcity, as well as inflation, are exacerbating the situation.’
    • ‘Vicky, Alex's wealthy sister, exacerbates the situation by offering Neil money.’
    • ‘That strains that whole relationship, probably exacerbates the situation.’
    • ‘So what they do is take the driving test and then they fail, and it simply exacerbates the situation.’
    • ‘Part of the problem lies in the fact that we are buying much more powerful stereos and televisions today, but other fashion trends are exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘The apparently untreated road was progressively freezing-over, exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘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
    intensify, increase, heighten, magnify, add to, amplify, augment
    make matters worse, compound the problem
    add fuel to the fire, add fuel to the flames, fan the flames, rub salt in the wounds, add insult to injury
    View synonyms

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’.

Pronunciation:

exacerbate

/ɛkˈsasəbeɪt//ɪɡˈzasəbeɪt/