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[ig-zaj-uh-reyt] /ɪgˈzædʒ əˌreɪt/
verb (used with object), exaggerated, exaggerating.
to magnify beyond the limits of truth; overstate; represent disproportionately:
to exaggerate the difficulties of a situation.
to increase or enlarge abnormally:
Those shoes exaggerate the size of my feet.
verb (used without object), exaggerated, exaggerating.
to employ exaggeration, as in speech or writing:
a person who is always exaggerating.
1525-35; < Latin exaggerātus (past participle of exaggerāre heap up), equivalent to ex- ex-1 + agger heap + -ātus -ate1
Related forms
exaggeratingly, adverb
exaggerator, noun
nonexaggerating, adjective
overexaggerate, verb, overexaggerated, overexaggerating.
unexaggerating, adjective
1. embellish, amplify, embroider. 2. inflate.
1. minimize. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for exaggerate
  • Many people embellish their tax returns to exaggerate their charitable contributions.
  • His refusal to exaggerate gives the story unimpeachable impact.
  • It's impossible to exaggerate her narrative skill.
  • Reports of our foul weather are greatly exaggerated.
  • It's tempting to exaggerate or embellish.
  • Behavior that might seem fine in person is exaggerated on a video screen.
  • Her exaggerated self-portraits reveal as much as her words do.
  • Well, maybe I exaggerate a little.
  • As in all sitcoms, the situations tend to be exaggerated, but they represent triumphs and problems we all typically face.
  • Next is not to report false information, easy to do when many sides exaggerate or deliberately lie.
British Dictionary definitions for exaggerate


to regard or represent as larger or greater, more important or more successful, etc, than is true
(transitive) to make greater, more noticeable, etc, than usual: his new clothes exaggerated his awkwardness
Derived Forms
exaggeratingly, adverb
exaggeration, noun
exaggerative, exaggeratory, adjective
exaggerator, noun
Word Origin
C16: from Latin exaggerāre to magnify, from aggerāre to heap, from agger heap
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for exaggerate

1530s, "to pile up, accumulate," from Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare "heighten, amplify, magnify," literally "to heap, pile, load, fill," from ex- "thoroughly" (see ex-) + aggerare "heap up," from agger (genitive aggeris) "heap," from aggerere "bring together, carry toward," from ad- "to, toward" + gerere "carry" (see gest). Sense of "overstate" first recorded in English 1560s. Related: Exaggerated; exaggerating.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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