Word of the Day Archive
Saturday June 8, 2002
exacerbate \ig-ZAS-ur-bayt\ , transitive verb:
To render more severe, violent, or bitter; to irritate; to aggravate; to make worse.
To reduce the stress that exacerbates my stuttering, I have meditated, done deep-breathing exercises, and floated under a condition of sensory deprivation in a dark, enclosed isolation tank.
-- Marty Jezer, Stuttering: A Life Bound Up in Words
By the 1920s a stubborn agricultural depression . . . badly exacerbated the problems of the countryside.
-- David M. Kennedy, Freedom From Fear
But they decided they did not like the San Francisco weather -- it exacerbated Alan's allergies -- and they moved to Florida at the end of 1986.
-- Sanford J. Ungar, Fresh Blood: The New American Immigrants
Exacerbate is from Latin exacerbare, "to irritate, to provoke, to aggravate very much," from ex-, intensive prefix + acerbare, "to make bitter, to aggravate," from acerbus, "bitter."