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
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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. . . ."
First Known Use: 1634See Words from the same year
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