aggravating

adjective
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of aggravating

: arousing displeasure, impatience, or anger
  • an aggravating habit

Common Uses of aggravate, aggravation, and aggravating

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 Gleasoninterview1986
    • & now this letter comes to aggravate me a thousand times worse
    • —Mark Twainletter1864
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

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

Recent Examples of aggravating from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of aggravating

from present participle of aggravate



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