Definition of aggrandize
- exploited the situation to aggrandize himself
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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 of books on tape
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aggrandize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Aggrandize has enhanced the English vocabulary since the early 17th century. English speakers adapted "agrandiss-," the stem of the French verb agrandir, to form "aggrandize," and later used the French form agrandissement as the basis of the noun "aggrandizement." (The root of "agrandiss-" is Latin; it comes from grandis, meaning "great.") Nowadays, both noun and verb are regularly paired (somewhat disparagingly) with the prefix self- to refer to individuals bent on glorifying themselves, as in the following sentence by Barbara Buchholz which appeared in the Chicago Tribune in 1995: "Celebrity authors eager to reveal all, self-aggrandize and wear their royalties in expensive attire. . . ."
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