ag·​grieve ə-ˈgrēv How to pronounce aggrieve (audio)
aggrieved; aggrieving

transitive verb

: to give pain or trouble to : distress
: to inflict injury on
Choose the Right Synonym for aggrieve

wrong, oppress, persecute, aggrieve mean to injure unjustly or outrageously.

wrong implies inflicting injury either unmerited or out of proportion to what one deserves.

a penal system that had wronged him

oppress suggests inhumane imposing of burdens one cannot endure or exacting more than one can perform.

a people oppressed by a warmongering tyrant

persecute implies a relentless and unremitting subjection to annoyance or suffering.

a child persecuted by constant criticism

aggrieve implies suffering caused by an infringement or denial of rights.

a legal aid society representing aggrieved minority groups

Examples of aggrieve in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web When Arthur Ashe rejects her appeal to support the cause of the women’s player, she is aggrieved. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 20 June 2023 And while many of Erdogan’s critics are aggrieved, others saw no viable option besides the president. Nadeen Ebrahim, CNN, 29 May 2023 The order ends with the judge saying that many of the people who are able to talk about their experiences in Alaska’s child welfare system are so aggrieved by it that they are not listened to. Michelle Theriault Boots, Anchorage Daily News, 24 May 2023 Now, rather than view North Korea as an unruly, angry neighbor, China has welcomed it, along with Russia and Iran, as part of what White House officials call a coalition of the aggrieved. Choe Sang-Hun, New York Times, 26 Apr. 2023 British billionaire Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a chemicals magnate and an avid outdoorsman, was aggrieved when Land Rover replaced its rugged and rudimentary old Defender with a design that shares its engineering principles with current passenger cars. Ben Oliver, Robb Report, 11 Mar. 2023 Amazon prohibits class action lawsuits in which aggrieved sellers can aggregate their claims and have their case decided by a judge or a jury. Sandeep Vaheesan, The New Republic, 28 Feb. 2023 He was aggrieved when Hitler, in an attempt to make the National Socialists more palatable to the middle class, opposed the Rural People’s Movement, a popular anti-Weimar tax revolt, which was commendably trying to blow up buildings in Berlin. Thomas Meaney, Harper’s Magazine , 16 Feb. 2023 Foreigners who aggrieve the Chinese Communist Party seriously enough typically get banned from the country. Tiffany Ap, Quartz, 4 Feb. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'aggrieve.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English agreven "to affect adversely, disturb, distress," borrowed from Anglo-French agrever "to make burdensome, worsen," going back to Latin aggravāre "to weigh down, burden, make worse" — more at aggravate

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of aggrieve was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near aggrieve

Cite this Entry

“Aggrieve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2024.

Legal Definition


transitive verb
ag·​grieve ə-ˈgrēv How to pronounce aggrieve (audio)
aggrieved; aggrieving
: to inflict injury on: as
: to adversely affect the interests of
was not the party aggrieved by the exemption
: to infringe or deny the rights of
a person aggrieved by an unlawful search and seizureFederal Rules of Criminal Procedure Rule 41(g)

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