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 forest fire was exacerbated by the lack of rain’
    • ‘Vicky, Alex's wealthy sister, exacerbates the situation by offering Neil money.’
    • ‘Pilots, unhappy at the increased expectations placed on them, are exacerbating the situation by striking for improved pay and conditions.’
    • ‘She believes that processed food, particularly ready meals, are exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How can the war continue, they ask, if it's exacerbating the problem it was meant to solve?’
    • ‘That strains that whole relationship, probably exacerbates the situation.’
    • ‘He also criticised the city's universities for exacerbating the situation.’
    • ‘Vehicles driving through the floodwaters were causing waves, exacerbating problems for households already flooded.’
    • ‘Significant reductions in the number of primary school pupils are in some cases exacerbating financial problems.’
    • ‘And if you extend its availability you are merely exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘The Dartford Tunnel is a bottleneck and removing the tolls would encourage more people to use it, thereby exacerbating the situation.’
    • ‘The premature closure of Fairhaven Road and problems caused by access from Frenches Road to Linkfield Lane exacerbates the situation.’
    • ‘The child's detachment exacerbates the parents' feeling of helplessness.’
    • ‘These issues were all being felt in our local communities, with the last three years of public housing reforms only exacerbating the situation.’
    • ‘Rising energy costs, which are a result of a growing scarcity, as well as inflation, are exacerbating 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.’
    • ‘So what they do is take the driving test and then they fail, and it simply exacerbates 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 apparently untreated road was progressively freezing-over, exacerbating the problem.’
    • ‘At least the government is trying to find an actual solution, rather than exacerbating the problem.’
    aggravate, make worse, worsen, inflame, compound
    View synonyms

Usage

On the difference between exacerbate and exasperate, see exasperate

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

/iɡˈzasərˌbāt//ɪɡˈzæsərˌbeɪt/