aggravating

adjective

Definition of aggravating

: arousing displeasure, impatience, or anger an aggravating habit

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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

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 Some parents say indecision about what to wear is the most aggravating in the preschool years. Leslie Brody, WSJ, "For Halloween, There’s Nothing Scarier Than a Fickle Toddler," 15 Oct. 2018 Make sure to get drops that don’t promise to relieve redness, since those can cause an aggravating rebound effect that just makes your eyes redder. Korin Miller, SELF, "Here’s Why You Are So Freaking Dry When You Get Off a Plane," 14 Sep. 2018 The thing that is perhaps the most aggravating about the continued spread of WannaMine is that the malware continues to use some of the same servers that were originally reported to be associated with it. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Unpatched systems at big companies continue to fall to WannaMine worm," 14 Sep. 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.

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First Known Use of aggravating

1673, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for aggravating

from present participle of aggravate

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Statistics for aggravating

Last Updated

26 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aggravating

The first known use of aggravating was in 1673

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