aggrandize

verb

ag·​gran·​dize ə-ˈgran-ˌdīz How to pronounce aggrandize (audio)
 also  ˈa-grən-
aggrandized; aggrandizing

transitive verb

1
: to make great or greater : increase, enlarge
aggrandize an estate
2
: to make appear great or greater : praise highly
3
: to enhance the power, wealth, position, or reputation of
exploited the situation to aggrandize himself
aggrandizement
ə-ˈgran-dəz-mənt How to pronounce aggrandize (audio)
-ˌdīz-
 also  ˌa-grən-ˈdīz-
noun
aggrandizer
ə-ˈgran-ˌdī-zər How to pronounce aggrandize (audio)
 also  ˈa-grən-
noun

Did you know?

Aggrandize is a grand word, and we don’t just mean that in praise. The word literally traces back to the Latin adjective grandis, meaning "grand," and it has enhanced the English language for over three centuries. Nowadays, aggrandize is often paired with self (either the word or the prefix: to "aggrandize oneself" or to "be self-aggrandizing" is to glorify oneself, or to intently pursue power, wealth, and the like. It's of course great to take pride in a job well done, but we stan those who keep it real—after all, not every hit can be a grand slam.

Examples of aggrandize in a Sentence

a movie that aggrandizes the bad guys and makes the cops look like dopes a generous grant, enabling the library to significantly aggrandize its collection
Recent Examples on the Web The Supreme Court, in eviscerating decades of administrative law, running roughshod over women’s privacy rights and impeding the federal government’s power to regulate securities law, has aggrandized more power to itself than any court in history. Jennifer Rubin, Washington Post, 1 July 2024 The project of applying modern standards to our forebears to aggrandize ourselves has also taken aim at some of the giants of Western political history. Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 And there have been numerous biographies published since his death in 2018, some aggrandizing, some clear-eyed. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Dec. 2023 Kersten managed to elude any real comeuppance for his antics in part through forged records and aggrandizing books about his wartime role. Scott Martelle, Washington Post, 3 May 2023 See all Example Sentences for aggrandize 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aggrandize.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

borrowed (with assimilation of the ending to -ize) from French agrandiss-, stem of agrandir, going back to Old French, from a-, verb-forming prefix (going back to Latin ad- ad-) + -grandir, verbal derivative of grand "large, great," going back to Latin grandis "fully grown, large, great" — more at grand entry 1

First Known Use

1634, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aggrandize was in 1634

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Dictionary Entries Near aggrandize

Cite this Entry

“Aggrandize.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/aggrandize. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

aggrandize

verb
ag·​gran·​dize ə-ˈgran-ˌdīz How to pronounce aggrandize (audio)
 also  ˈag-rən-
aggrandized; aggrandizing
: to make great or greater (as in power, wealth, or reputation)
aggrandizement
ə-ˈgran-dəz-mənt How to pronounce aggrandize (audio)
-ˌdīz-
 also  ˌag-rən-ˈdīz-mənt
noun
aggrandizer noun
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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