One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Represent (something) as being larger, better, or worse than it really is.‘she was apt to exaggerate any aches and pains’no object ‘I couldn't sleep for three days—I'm not exaggerating’overstate, overemphasize, overstress, overestimate, overvalue, magnify, amplify, aggrandize, inflateoverstated, overemphasized, inflated, magnified, amplified, aggrandized, excessive, hyperbolic, over-elaborate, overdone, overripe, overplayed, overdramatized, theatrical, dramatic, actorly, highly coloured, extravagant, melodramatic, sensational, sensationalist, sensationalisticView synonyms
- 1.1as adjective exaggerated Enlarged or altered beyond normal proportions.‘exaggerated features such as a massive head and beetling brows’
- ‘It's an exaggerated intensity of feeling invested in something which doesn't finally matter.’
- ‘When politeness is all we have connecting us to others, incivility takes on an exaggerated significance.’
- ‘I read to them every night in great detail and in exaggerated voices.’
- ‘We in the West have done far more than the Russians to publicise the fact that our children embody all of our exaggerated fears today.’
- ‘Gun buying may be a response to an exaggerated amount of coverage of supposedly impending danger.’
- ‘And, in this case, it is based on exaggerated assumptions and exaggerated statements.’
- ‘Furthermore, there are no legal penalties for taking a false or exaggerated claim to court.’
- ‘And so, with exaggerated care, you end up tip-toeing naked across the soggy floor.’
- ‘Experts say it's an exaggerated figure and don't want to even visualise such a situation.’
- ‘One stands splaying all his limbs around me in an exaggerated way.’
- ‘It was so cartoonish and exaggerated that I felt sure it must look staged to anyone watching, but it was genuine enough.’
- ‘His claims were regarded as exaggerated but thousands of dollars and fake passports and visa stamps were found in his house.’
- ‘He also seems to suffer from a common complaint in the Ministry, an exaggerated respect for American power.’
- ‘Increased insurance premiums, because of the exaggerated number of personal injury claims every year.’
- ‘As soon as he walked in all cameras focused on him and his hero pals made an exaggerated show of affection towards him.’
- ‘In the end, one might think that goodness was only imaginary, an exaggerated western virtue.’
- ‘Footballers here are less inclined to tumble over in an exaggerated fashion or writhe around feigning injury.’
- ‘Once the rain hits, it's clearly time for that exaggerated song and dance sequence.’
- ‘No one dragged their rivals to the court; there were very few exaggerated claims.’
- ‘This can lead to exaggerated food portions or over consumption of calories.’
- 1.1as adjective exaggerated Enlarged or altered beyond normal proportions.
Mid 16th century: from Latin exaggerat- ‘heaped up’, from the verb exaggerare, from ex- ‘thoroughly’ + aggerare ‘heap up’ (from agger ‘heap’). The word originally meant ‘pile up, accumulate’, later ‘intensify praise or blame’, giving rise to current senses.
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