aggravation

noun
ag·​gra·​va·​tion | \ ˌa-grə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce aggravation (audio) \

Definition of aggravation

1 : an act or circumstance that intensifies something or makes something worse His interference was an aggravation of the situation.
2 : the act, action, or result of aggravating something or someone especially : an increasing in seriousness or severity aggravation of an injury
3 : irritation, provocation Her job involves a lot of stress and aggravation.

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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 aggravation in a Sentence

trying to avoid the aggravation of an existing back problem I don't need all this aggravation. This car has caused me nothing but aggravation. Many talented people now feel that a career in politics isn't worth all the aggravation. I don't need all these aggravations.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The tight confines of the tiny Virginia track raises the aggravation levels for most of the field and usually leads to bumping, banging and busted-up race cars. Jenna Fryer, The Seattle Times, "Keselowski routs field to earn win at Martinsville Speedway," 24 Mar. 2019 As sales of e-cigarettes surge, the devices have joined polarizing workplace aggravations like microwaved fish, loud ringtones and reply-to-all messages. Katherine Bindley, WSJ, "Microwaved Fish Was Once the Workplace Aggravation—Now It’s Vaping," 14 Dec. 2018 Having an advocate present would have saved me from a lot of confusion and aggravation. BostonGlobe.com, "Letters to the editor of the Boston Globe Magazine," 1 June 2018 Any aggravation has been wholly directed toward the president. Christopher Muther, BostonGlobe.com, "This summer, there will be no vacation from Trump talk," 18 June 2018 This kind of aggravation stays with him all night and maybe even into the next day if the traffic is bad again. Ellie Delano, Woman's Day, "Bye-Bye Stormcloud," 8 Sep. 2011 Load up some apps to save money, time and aggravation, while traveling this summer. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, "Seriously, save money on gas, hotels and shopping with these 8 apps," 26 June 2018 Save yourself time and aggravation by double-checking your flight times. Scott Mcmurren, Anchorage Daily News, "Got a red-eye flight coming up? Here’s how to make it a little more bearable," 14 Apr. 2018 This service may even include determining if the potential buyer is even qualified to submit an offer, saving you time and aggravation. Kenya Burrell-vanwormer, Houston Chronicle, "Realtor View: Buyer’s personality can affect sale," 1 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'aggravation.' 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 aggravation

1546, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for aggravation

borrowed from Late Latin aggravātiōn-, aggravātiō "a weighing down," from Latin aggravāre "to weigh down, aggravate" + -tiōn-, -tiō, suffix of action nouns

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Learn More about aggravation

Statistics for aggravation

Last Updated

10 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for aggravation

The first known use of aggravation was in 1546

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More Definitions for aggravation

aggravation

noun

English Language Learners Definition of aggravation

: the act or result of making a condition, injury, etc., worse : the act or result of aggravating something
informal : something that annoys or bothers someone : something that aggravates someone

aggravation

noun
ag·​gra·​va·​tion | \ ˌa-grə-ˈvā-shən How to pronounce aggravation (audio) \

Kids Definition of aggravation

1 : an act or the result of making worse or more serious All that walking resulted in aggravation of an existing knee injury.
2 : something that annoys or bothers someone The constant noise was a source of aggravation.

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Comments on aggravation

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