aggravating

adjective

Definition of aggravating

: arousing displeasure, impatience, or anger an aggravating habit

Keep scrolling for more

Common Uses of Aggravate, Aggravation, and Aggravating: Usage Guide

Although aggravate has been used to refer to rousing someone to anger since the 17th century, it has been the object of disapproval only since about 1870. It is used in expository prose when his silly conceit … about his not-very-good early work has begun to aggravate us — William Styron but seems to be more common in speech and casual writing. a good profession for him, because bus drivers get aggravated — Jackie Gleason, interview, 1986 & now this letter comes to aggravate me a thousand times worse — Mark Twain, letter, 1864 The "make worse" meaning is far more common in published prose than the "rouse to anger" meaning. Such is not the case, however, with aggravation and aggravating. Aggravation is used in the "irritation, provocation" sense somewhat more than in its earlier senses; aggravating has practically no use other than to express annoyance.

Examples of aggravating in a Sentence

there's nothing so aggravating as a blaring car alarm that no one is paying any attention to

Recent Examples on the Web

The Preah Sihanouk provincial court said the Chinese owner of the building in Sihanoukville was charged with unintentional homicide, involuntarily causing injuries and aggravating circumstances that cause injury. Washington Post, "Cambodia charges 7, including Chinese, in building collapse," 25 June 2019 They were also arrested in a school zone, considered an aggravating factor in the state. Tim Carman, Washington Post, "D.C. chef who served Obama faces felony cocaine charges after arrest in Delaware beach town," 12 June 2019 There’s nothing more aggravating to an Aries than procrastination and slow-moving plans. Alice Bell, Vogue, "What Astrology Tells Us About Martin Margiela’s and Marc Jacobs’s Shared Birthday," 9 Apr. 2019 After Kate's water broke and she was admitted to the hospital, Miguel was, arguably, the most chill person in the waiting room — well, besides Madison and that incredibly aggravating Rold Gold pretzel lady. Kayla Keegan, Good Housekeeping, "'This Is Us' Fans Are Furious With Miguel After Watching the Latest Episode," 13 Mar. 2019 One of the most aggravating issues of the immigration debate has been the uneasy relationship between Washington and the states on enforcing the law. Paul Thornton, latimes.com, "Jeff Sessions does California and the U.S. a favor," 10 Mar. 2018 However, over the years, steam radiators can start producing some very aggravating sounds, including banging, knocking, whistling, and squeaking. Joseph Truini, Popular Mechanics, "How to Silence a Noisy Steam Radiator," 11 Dec. 2018 Work was even trickier, with wardrobe issues rearing their aggravating head again. Allison Berres, Good Housekeeping, "Breast-Reduction Surgery Made Me Feel More Sensual, Youthful, and Confident," 9 Nov. 2018 For Gnog, this game design choice, coupled with the game’s playful and colorful style, turns potentially aggravating puzzle-solving into something far more relaxing and endearing. Michael Moore, The Verge, "Gnog turns puzzle boxes into fun dioramas," 5 Aug. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aggravating.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of aggravating

1673, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aggravating

from present participle of aggravate

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about aggravating

Statistics for aggravating

Last Updated

2 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aggravating

The first known use of aggravating was in 1673

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on aggravating

What made you want to look up aggravating? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

characterized by aphorism

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!