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verb, ex·ag·ger·ate \ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrāt\

Simple Definition of exaggerate

  • : to think of or describe something as larger or greater than it really is

  • : to make (something) larger or greater than normal

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of exaggerate


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to enlarge beyond bounds or the truth :  overstate <a friend exaggerates a man's virtues — Joseph Addison>

  3. 2 :  to enlarge or increase especially beyond the normal :  overemphasize

  4. intransitive verb
  5. :  to make an overstatement

exaggeratedly adverb
exaggeratedness noun
exaggeration play \-ˌza-jə-ˈrā-shən\ noun
exaggerative play \-ˈza-jə-ˌrā-tiv, -ˈzaj-rə-, -ˈza-jə-\ adjective
exaggerator play \-ˈza-jə-ˌrā-tər\ noun
exaggeratory play \-ˈzaj-rə-ˌtȯr-ē, -ˈza-jə-\ adjective

Examples of exaggerate in a sentence

  1. The book exaggerates the difficulties he faced in starting his career.

  2. It's impossible to exaggerate the importance of this discovery.

  3. He tends to exaggerate when talking about his accomplishments.

  4. He exaggerated his movements so we could see them more clearly.

Origin of exaggerate

Latin exaggeratus, past participle of exaggerare, literally, to heap up, from ex- + agger heap, from aggerere to carry toward, from ad- + gerere to carry

First Known Use: 1613

Rhymes with exaggerate

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EXAGGERATE Defined for Kids


verb ex·ag·ger·ate \ig-ˈza-jə-ˌrāt\

Definition of exaggerate for Students


  1. :  to describe as larger or greater than what is true <She exaggerated her successes.>

Seen and Heard

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