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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.
Origin of exaggerate
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 exaggerating
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I think you are exaggerating the effect of any small attentions of mine toward Miss Bennet.

    Pride and Prejudice, a play Mary Keith Medbery Mackaye
  • The history of psychiatry and sorcery proves that we are not exaggerating.

    The Sexual Question August Forel
  • Woolridge's artist had a wild humor that gave the show away by exaggerating the innocence and idiocy of Woolridge's victims.

    The Combined Maze May Sinclair
  • To think that the evening before they accused her at the Boches' of exaggerating the picture!

    L'Assommoir Emile Zola
  • You'll think I'm exaggerating, but I vow we had not gone more than ten miles further before that chain broke again.

    The Lightning Conductor C. N. Williamson
British Dictionary definitions for exaggerating


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 exaggerating



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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